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Turkish Manuscripts

195 items on paper, mainly acquired in the Crawford purchase of 1901.

Most are written in Ottoman Turkish, but there are twelve items with texts in Çagatay, the literary eastern variant of the language. There is also one manuscript with Turkish and Armenian texts in Latin transcription.

They range in date from the 15th century through to the 19th, the majority of dated examples being from the 17th and 18th centuries.

The subject range is wide, including:

  • anthologies (divans) of poetry
  • narrative poetry (mesnevis)
  • fables and stories
  • commentaries
  • books on grammar
  • letters, including documents issued by Ottoman institutions
  • guides for dervish novices
  • biographies and biographical dictionaries
  • travelogues
  • library catalogues
  • dictionaries and vocabularies
  • texts on religious ethics, jurisprudence, history, geography, cosmography, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, physiognomy, music and genealogy

Finding aids

Jan Schmidt, A Catalogue of the Turkish Manuscripts in the John Rylands University Library at Manchester (Leiden: Brill, 2011).


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library

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