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The British Library Institutional Partnership
The Iran Heritage Foundation Curator of Persian Manuscripts at the British Library is Dr. Saqib Baburi.
Dr Baburi is a member of the British Library’s Persian Manuscripts Digitisation Project, which aims to make the library’s Persian manuscript collections freely accessible worldwide via the internet.
The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom, and is the world’s largest library in terms of total number of items. The library is a major research library, holding over 150 million items from many countries, in many languages and in many formats, both print and digital: books, manuscripts, journals, newspapers, magazines, sound and music recordings, videos, play–scripts, patents, databases, maps, stamps, prints, drawings. The Library’s collections include around 14 million books (second only to the United States' Library of Congress), along with substantial holdings of manuscripts and historical items dating back as far as 2000 BC.
Dr Baburi was formerly the Simon Digby Postdoctoral Fellow and Iran Heritage Foundation Visiting Fellow at SOAS, University of London, where he also completed his PhD in History. Dr Baburi’s research interests include the history, diplomacy, chancery practices, seals, calligraphy and palaeographic traditions of the Persianate world, and especially the history of art and culture at the court of Shah Jahan. He has lectured at the British Library, SOAS, Kings College London, the University of Cambridge, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Institute of Iranian Studies (Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften), among other institutions.
The British Library’s Persian manuscript collection is one of the largest and best known in the world. It includes over 11,000 manuscripts originating from all over the Persian speaking world, ranging in time from the 12th century onwards. Many of the manuscripts are very rare texts, and illustrated volumes which include some of the most famous miniature paintings of the Persian and Mughal schools.
Launched in August 2011, this 3–year project will make important works from the British Library’s Persian manuscript collection freely accessible via the Internet to a worldwide audience of researchers and enthusiasts. The dedicated curator will be tasked to make the material available through online catalogues, and will help safeguard this part of Iran’s heritage for future generations, while promoting the research and study of these manuscripts and their relevant subject areas on a worldwide basis.
The archive as a whole will be a unique cultural resource which can both be enjoyed by students and lovers of Persian culture and also used as a teaching tool for both Persian music and Persian literature.
IHF is currently raising funds for the Institutional Partnership Programme, and contributions make it possible for these initial posts to be created and maintained, keeping Iranian studies alive and vibrant for years to come. Every contribution from every member of the community is appreciated, whatever the size. Please support us with your contributions and help maintain the legacy of the Institutional Partnership Programme for future generations.
To contribute online to this project, please click on the Virgin Money Giving logo below; for other ways of giving, and for US donors please visit our Giving page.