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Garrett Collection of Arabic Manuscripts

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One of the finest collections of Near Eastern manuscripts, bequeathed to the Princeton University Library by Robert Garrett (1875-1961), a graduate (1897) and a trustee of the University (1905-61).

  •  Although the collection contains mostly Arabic manuscripts, its Persian holdings are significant, including a number of important and exquisite manuscripts, such as a copy of ʿOmar Ḵayyām’s Robāʿīyāt (dated 868/1463-4), illustrated copies of Saʿdī’sGolestān (dated 960/1522-23), Amīr Ḵosrow Dehlavī’s Ḵamsa (dated 930/1524), and the Dīvān ofḤāfeẓ (dated 926/1520). The most prized possession of the collection, however, was a copy of Šaraf-al-Dīn ʿAlī Yazdī’s Ẓafar-nāma, dated 872/1467-68, which contained twelve miniatures attributed to Kamāl-al-Dīn Behzād (q.v.) and which, in 1940, Garrett decided to sell, together with an extremely rare 11th-century Kufic Koran, in order to raise money to purchase a collection of Near Eastern manuscripts offered for sale by another collector named Abraham Shalom Yahuda. Garret’s brother, John W. Garrett, eventually purchased the two manuscripts and Garrett was able to obtain the Yahuda collection and bequeathed it to Princeton University in 1942. Yazdī’s Ẓafar-nāma was later donated by John W. Garrett to Johns Hopkins University, where it is housed in the John Work Garrett Library.

Additional Research Guides

  • Handlist of Arabic Manuscripts (New Series) in the Princeton University Library

    Rudolf Mach and Eric L. Ormsby, Handlist of Arabic Manuscripts (New Series) in the Princeton University Library, Princeton Studies on the Near East (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987).

  • Catalogue of Arabic Manuscripts (Yahuda Section) in the Garrett Collection

    Rudolf Mach, Catalogue of Arabic Manuscripts (Yahuda Section) in the Garrett Collection , Princeton University Library, Princeton Studies on the Near East (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1977)

  • Descriptive Catalog of the Garrett Collection of Persian, Turkish and Indic Manuscripts Including Some Miniatures

    Mohammed E. Moghadam and Yahya Armajani, under the supervision of Philip K. Hitti, Descriptive Catalog of the Garrett Collection of Persian, Turkish and Indic Manuscripts Including Some Miniatures, Princeton Oriental Texts, vol. 6 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1939); (PRINT ONLY)

  • Descriptive Catalog of the Garrett Collection of Arabic Manuscripts in the Princeton University Library

    Philip K. Hitti, Nabih Amin Faris, and Butrus 'Abd al-Malik,Descriptive Catalog of the Garrett Collection of Arabic Manuscripts in the Princeton University Library, Princeton Oriental Texts, vol. 5 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1938);