Date range: 14th-20th centuries
Number of items: 21 items (some composite)
A collection of Zoroastrian and Parsi manuscripts from Iran and India. The manuscripts comprise copies of the Avesta, religious treatises, collections of poetry and fables, a vocabulary, and works on history and astrology. Parsi MS 4 contains two texts copied in the 14th century by the scribe Peshotan Ram Kamdin. Parsi MS 21 comprises three early 20th-century photographs of the Avroman documents at the British Museum.
The texts are in a variety of languages including Avesta, Middle Persian, Farsi, and Gujarati. The manuscripts are written in a variety of scripts including Pahlavi, Nagari/Gujarati, Arabic and Pazend.
Parsi MSS 1-19 were acquired in 1901 with the purchase of the Crawford collection. Most are from the collection of John Wilson (1804-1875). There are also Zoroastrian manuscripts in the Persian Manuscripts collection.
Unpublished 19th-century catalogue of Crawford items by E. W. West and Professor Geldner, available via Special Collections reading rooms.
See Ursula Sims-Williams, 'The Strange Story of Samuel Guise: An 18th-Century Collection of Zoroastrian Manuscripts', Bulletin of the Asia Institute, New Series, Vol. 19, (2005), pp. 199-209.