Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts of the National Library of the Czech Republic

The National Library of the Czech Republic possesses a collection of 150 Persian manuscripts. The oldest items are from the end end of the 14th century, while the most recent manuscripts were created in the beginning of the 20th century.

Our Persian mansucripts contain mostly poetry and prose. There are texts of important Persian poets and authors as, for example Sa'di, Háfiz, Nizámí, Rúmí, etc.

As Nizámí's Chamse or Rúmí's Masnawí as well as other works demonstrate, there are also works of Persian mystic literature. Many mansucripts are interesting also from the graphic point of view: there are beautiful miniatures featuring various themes.

It is thanks to the Ceskoslovenská obchodní banka that we are now about to publish a CD- Rom catalogue of our Persian manuscripts accompanied with a nice brochure that will be in fact a guide to the Persian literature with references to our collection.

As the Catalogue of Arabic Manuscripts, published a year ago, has been still raising a lot of interest wordlwide, it is to be expected that the same will happen also in this case.

This catalogue of Persian manuscripts will bring not only catalogue records with important cultural annotations, but also rich image samples from the collection. The technology applied for publication will be the SGML-based DOBM format that was adopted in January 1999 as a standard from the Memory of the World publications of digitally reformatted materials.

Adolf Knoll 9 March 2000