Sufism and Persian Manuscripts from the Delhi Collection, British Library
The British East India Company’s victories in 1858 ending the Rebellion of 1857 also signified the end of the Great Moguls. With their demise, the new Government of India acquired what remained of the famed Mogul Imperial Library from Delhi, the former imperial capital. Transferred to the India Office Library, the ‘Delhi Collection' was inherited by the British Library.
Originally comprised of Persian and other languages (Arabic, Urdu, and Turkish) that have been more or less catalogued, the corpus of Persian manuscripts remains only partially described and largely inaccessible for students and specialists. The ‘Digital Access to Persian Manuscripts’ Project has recently focussed on works specifically dealing with Sufism, mysticism and metaphysics. This illustrated paper presents new findings, and examines ways in which extant manuscripts help to illustrate Delhi’s diverse spiritual traditions.
Sâqib Bâburî joined the Asian and African Studies team at the British Library after several post-doctoral fellowships and teaching in the fields of historical diplomacy, Islam and Sufism, literature, and art history at SOAS, University of London. His earlier research covered the authorised chronicles of Emperor Shāh Jahān and the illustrated ‘Windsor Castle’ Pādshāhnāmah manuscript. Sâqib is currently engaged in cataloguing manuscripts from the Delhi Persian collection.