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Archival description
GB GB 891 SC34 · Fonds · [1800 - 1899]

A Collection of Dharanis transcribed in Sanskrit, Chinese and Korean is a woodblock printed book with side-stitched binding comprising of wrapped-back sheets of paper and a plain outer cover. The title of the volume is written on the front cover along with a Royal Asiatic Society stamp. No other identifiers in English are available. The place and date of production are unknown but presumably precedes the common adoption of western binding techniques in the 1920-1930s.

GB GB 891 SC41 · Fonds · [1752 - 1799]

An imperfect copy of the Puthen Pana or the Misiha Charitham of Johann Ernst Hanxelden. A letter inserted into the book, dated 26 January 1934, sent from L.D. Barnett to Mrs Cardew, identifies the volume and dates it as 18th century. The Puthen Pana is a poem written by Hanxleden about the life of Jesus Christ. On the front papers there is a note to state that the manuscript was given to the Society by Sir Alexander Johnston and that it is in Malayalam.

The poem consists of 14 padams. The first padam informs readers that the poem is written at the request of Antonio Pimental, Archbishop of Cranganore. The second padam focuses on the Fall of Man, fourth - the Annunciation, fifth - the Nativity, seventh - the Sermon on the Mount, tenth - the Last Supper, eleventh - the Trial and Crucifixion, the twelfth padam portrays the lament of Virgin Mary at the Crucifixion and Death of Jesus, thirteenth - the Resurrection, and the fourteenth portrays the Ascension. The 12th padam is considered the most important in the poem. But for the 12th, which is written in the metre, Nathonatha, the rest of the couplets are written in the metre, Sarpini.

Some of the pages are fragile and a few have had historic conservation repairs.

Hanxleden Johann Ernst 1681-1732
GB GB 891 SC38 · Fonds · Sep 1817

A Maldivian Nakaiyterikaṅ (astrology) manuscript. At the commencement of the manuscript it is titled in English, "Nek-ket Were-ingay foy which means our conjuring book". This is followed by an explanation of its use, e.g. in consulting before undertaking a voyage. This copy was made in September 1817 by Nalle Tandy, a "Chitty man" who was the interpreter of the Maldivian language.

Nalle Tandy
GB GB 891 SC44 · Fonds · 1839

Translations of Sections 5 and 8 of the Prabhu Linga Leelai named as the 'Prabhu Linga Lila' within the volumes. The translations are contained within bound volumes, the one containing section 8 has 'Brown's P.L. Lila' embossed on the spine. The translator states at the beginning of each volume 'Began reading 22nd April 1839, Began Translation 5th June 1839'. The translation is in prose rather than the verse form of the original though the verses are numbered within the margins. The volume containing section 5 also contains 'Notes on Prabhu Lingua Lila Section 3'.

"Prabhu Linga Leelai" is a 15th-century Lingayata work, written in Kannada, by Chamarasa. The poet had a dream in which Virabhadra, the son of Siva, asked him to write a long poem on the Lingayata saints of the 12th century. Chamarasa subsequently composed the entire Prabhulinga Leelai in eleven days. The book is based on the life and spiritual experiences of Allama Prabhu, a 12th century Virasaiva saint and teacher. The poet presented his poem to the court of his king Deva Raya II. This Kannada work was translated into Tamil verse by Sivaprakasa Swamigal, a Virasaiva poet and scholar, in the seventeenth century.

GB GB 891 SC28 · Fonds · 1831

A duplicate of a Petition to the House of Commons from the Natives of Bombay (Mumbai) and others: Christians, Jews, Chinese, Parsis; Muslims and Hindus; more than 4000 in number. All the signatures, along with the petition, are on the document which is made of 25 skins of parchment. It is written in English, Gujarati and Marathi and is dated Bombay, 25 January 1831. It asks for a reform in the judicial regulations of the government at Bombay; for more impartial administration of the laws, that native people may freely be admitted to civil and judicial offices; and for the diffusion of the English language among the inhabitants to be encouraged by the British government. The original was sent to England by Sir Charles Forbes, M.P. and Joseph Hume, M.P. and was presented to the House of Commons on 1 September 1831.

Forbes Sir Charles 1773-1849
GB GB 891 LJ · Fonds · 20th June 1853

The 'Aja'ib al Tabaqat' (Wonders of the Universe) is a Persian text that was purchased by Sir Alexander Burnes in the Bazar of Bukhara 1832. This translation lists the author of the 'Aja'ib al Tabaqat' as 'Muhammad Tahir, son of Abul Qasim.' The 'Aja'ib al Tabaqat' is part of the 'aja'ib' genre in medieval Islamic literature, 'aja'ib' meaning 'marvelous, strange or unusual.' The 'aja'ib' genre consists of discussions on the marvels of the world and often contain cosmographical content. The 'Aja'ib al Tabaqat' includes a creation story, accounts of Islamic prophets and descriptions of various countries and cities. Sir Legrand's translation states the original text by Muhammad Tahir son of Abul Qasim, was written in 1819.

The text consists of one hardbound volume of handwritten text. It is an incomplete manuscript in that Sir Legrand Jacob has omitted various sections in his translation, indicating where he has done so. The pastedowns include text in another language.
The volume contains a pencil drawing of a temple titled 'A temple near […]' At the beginning of the text is a handwritten letter from Sir Legrand Jacob, dated 'Kutch, June 20 1853' which states that in his opinion, the text was not worth translating but he reluctantly complied to the request from the Oriental Translation Committee and translated it. This letter mentions Sir Gore Ouseley.

Jacob Sir George Le Grand 1805-1881
GB GB 891 RC · Fonds · 1832

The Akbar Nameh of Abul Fazl Allami translated by Robert Chalmers.

The Akbar Nameh 'History of Akbar' or 'Book of Akbar' was the official history of Akbar's reign and was commissioned by Akbar. It was written by his court historian and biographer Abul Fazl in Persian. Chalmer's translation is an abridged version of the original text. The Oriental Translation Committe decided that, given the importance of the Akbar Nameh, the abridged translation was not suitable for publication and they recommended that Lieutenant Chalmers undertake a complete translation of the text.

The text consists of two hardbound volumes of handwritten text.

Volume I contains a letter dated 1923 from Henry Beveridge to Miss Latimer, Assistant Librarian at the Royal Asiatic Society, concerning Chalmer's translation. There are notes from Gore Ouseley and borrowing slips pasted in. Also a note saying 'see 'Noer's Kaisar Nameh' is handwritten is on the title page.

Volume II contains a letter dated 30th May 1833 from J.C. Morris to the Secretary of the Oriental Translation Committee concerning a letter from Lieutenant Chalmers and asking them to recognise the work undertaken by Chalmers in translating the Akbar Nameh. The letter goes on to state although the translation is not accompanied by the original as required by the rules of the committee, Mr Lushington (English Tory Politician and Governor of Madras from 1827-1832) will on application provide the loan of the original work in his possession from which Lieutenant Chalmers' translation was prepared. On f.157 there is a pressed fern. Annotations have been made in a different hand.

Chalmers Robert
GB GB 891 RAS OC3 · Fonds · 1933 - 1940

The material contains correspondence and bulletins the All-India Oriental Conferences from 1933-1939 (7th, 8th and 10th conferences), sent to and by the Royal Asiatic Society.

Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland
An Eastern Odyssey
GB GB 891 SC10 · Fonds · 13th Nov 1934

Programme of the Gala Performance of the film 'An Eastern Odyssey' held in the presence of H.R.H. The Prince of Wales in aid of the Royal National Life-boat Institution (RNLI) at the Plaza Theatre, London, on 13 November 1934. This is a printed programme with a message from the Prince, information concerning the Citroën Trans-Asiatic Expedition and details of the film, An Eastern Odyssey, made as a record of the expedition. The final page of the programme lists Patrons of the RNLI and the Committee of the Gala performance.

With the programme is a ticket for the Royal Circle, Seat C9, at the Plaza Theatre and a card giving notification of the dress code for the evening.

Royal National Life-boat Institution
GB GB 891 SC5 · Fonds · 1883

"A Key to Scripture; being an Enquiry into the Order of Chapters of the Qur'ān" - a handwritten manuscript documenting the author's investigation into the chronological order of the chapters of the Qur'ān. He presents an introduction to his thesis, followed by a Synopsis of the Classes, Sections and Chapters; with further sections on the Distinctive Characters of the chapters, the Distribution and Arrangement of the Makka chapters; and On the Determination of the Madina Years and their chapters. These chapters are handwritten on foolscap sheets covering 132 pages of the volume.

Muhammad Bāgir