2010 marks the millennium of the Shahnama, Ferdowsi's epic Persian poem. To commemorate the occasion, The Islamic Manuscript Association (TIMA) has sponsored the John Rylands University Library, The University of Manchester to digitise a complete, illustrated Shahnama manuscript, dating from the Safawid period. The high resolution images are now freely accessible for purposes of research, teaching and learning via the Rylands digital image collections.
Many digitisation projects concentrate on the highly visual, i.e. the illustrated pages of a manuscript. This project closely adheres to TIMA's ambition to open access to textual resources, offering new opportunities for codicology and textual criticism.