Arabic Script Manuscript Collection

The earliest Arabic script manuscript to have come to Georgetown is a small Koran (in a local Joseph Milligan binding), a gift of Susan Wheeler Decatur, said to have been acquired by her husband, Stephen Decatur, while fighting in Tripoli. Among the more than a dozen other manuscripts, in both Arabic and Persian, are several nineteenth century Korans (in part the gifts of Charles Jackson Friedlander and of August Velletri); a nineteenth century manuscript of Muhammad al-Gharnati's Kitab Tuhfat al-Albab wa-Tahiyyat al-A'jab wa-'Aja'ib al-Dunya (gift of Edward M. Walsh and Lorna Gill Walsh); a manuscript of Jalal Al-Din Rumi's Masnavi (gift of A. Reza Arasteh); a manuscript of Nizami's Khamsa (gift of Roderick M. Engert); and a fine manuscript of the eighteenth century, illustrated with miniatures: the Jami' al-tavarikh of historian Rashid al-Din Tabib, the gift of Archibald Roosevelt, Jr. Additional Arabic script manuscripts, including several of naval interest, are found in the Nicholas Cleary Collection (gift of Mr. Cleary).

ca. 1544-1900 0.75 linear foot

Partial Checklist:

Title: [Stories and Poetry]
Author:
Date: 1544
[219] pp.
Description: foldover tooled sheep, 17.5 cm.
Notes: Persian, stories and fragments of poetry, copied in the Muslim year 951
Provenance: Roosevelt, Archibald, Jr.
Volume: 1



Title: Koran
Author:
Date: 1830
[412] pp.
Description: calf with tooled covers, with blue paper worked into calf, front cover detached, 21.0 cm.
Notes: Maghribi script, copied in Muslim year 1246
Provenance: Mullowrny, John F., Consul to Morocco, 10 September 1845
Volume: 2



Title: [Christian Prayers]
Author:
Date: before 1848
[470] pp.
Description: black calf with gilt borders, 13.5 cm.
Notes: reference to a death in the family of the owner of the book--an individual named Anton, who died 21 July 1848--is written on the flyleaf.
Provenance: unknown
Volume: 3



Title: Jami' al-Tawarikh
Author: Rashid Al-Din Tabib
Date: 19th century
[452] pp.
Description: calf with laquered covers, illustrated; contained in modern green box, 37.0 cm.
Notes: Persian, well known medieval Muslim historian, history of the Monguls, includes four miniature illustrations
Provenance: Roosevelt, Archibald, Jr., gift in celebration of Lauinger's Millionth Volume, 1983
Volume: 4 (Shelved in Vault)




Title: Koran, extracts
Author:
Date: 19th century
[122] pp.
Description: calf, gilt, binding by Milligan, Joseph, 10.0 cm.
Notes: Notes in Persian at the end, 170 pages with borders only follow text
Provenance: Decatur, Stephen
Volume: 5


Title: Koran
Author:
Date: 19th century
[695] pp.
Description: red calf, tooled and gilt with beautiful Islamic design, 11.5 cm.
Notes: in Maghribi script, beautiful illuminations and marginal decorations, which increase toward the end
Provenance: Walsh, Edmund, S.J.
Volume: 6


Title:
Author:
Date: 19th century
[140] pp.
Description: calf foldover, red and gilt, 20.0 cm.
Notes: Maghribi script, not standard eastern script; postcard describing gift of this manuscript from Jacques O'Hana to Thomas Walsh included
Provenance: "Gift of Edward M. and Lorna Gill Walsh, from the library of their late brother, Thomas Walsh."
Volume: 7


Title: [Prayer Book]
Author:
Date: 19th century
[95] pp.
Description: sheep on cardboard, gilt design and borders on covers, 20.0 cm.
Notes: Turkish
Provenance: Purchased, 1976 ?
Volume: 8



Title: Kama Sutra
Author: Vatsyayana, attributed
Date: late 19th or early 20th century
[94] leaves, 39 full-page illustrations
Description: modern orange box, text on 94 leaves, plus two blanks, 21.0 cm.
Notes: from Afghanistan, with upper cover and portion of lower cover of the original (?) included, illuminated drawings, mostly of erotic activity.
Provenance: Gilsin, David, gift, 1979
Volume: 9 (Shelved in Vault)


INDEX TO TITLES


Title:
Volume: 7


Title: [Christian Prayers]
Volume: 3


Title: Jami' al-Tawarikh
Volume: 4


Title: Kama Sutra
Volume: 9


Title: Koran
Volume: 6


Title: Koran
Volume: 2


Title: Koran, extracts
Volume: 5


Title: [Prayer Book]
Volume: 8


Title: [Stories and Poetry]
Volume: 1



INDEX TO PROVENANCE


Provenance: Decatur, Stephen
Volume: 5


Provenance: Gilsin, David, gift, 1979
Volume: 9


Provenance: Mullowrny, John F.
Volume: 2


Provenance: Roosevelt, Archibald, Jr.
Volume: 1
Volume: 4


Provenance: Walsh, Edmund, S.J.
Volume: 6


Provenance: Walsh, Thomas (given to Library by his brother and sister-in-law: Edward M. and Lorna Gill Walsh)
Volume: 7


Provenance: not yet determined
Volume: 3


Provenance: Purchased, 1976 ?
Volume: 8


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