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The Persian Manuscripts Association (PMA) is an international academic organisation dedicated to the support and promotion of research on Islamicate manuscripts of the vast Persianate world. This includes Iran and all regions that historically participated in or interfaced with persophone culture, from the Balkans and Egypt in the west to India and China in the east.

The PMA provides a friendly, welcoming space to share ongoing research, publish findings and access resources related to the study of Persianate manuscripts. It is especially committed to supporting the work of junior scholars in all relevant fields, from art history and codicology to history of literature and history of philosophy and science.

About PMA

The PMA is a non-profit organisation, funded by its members through annual dues. It was founded by Shiva Mihan in 2021, in response to the particular challenges and complexities associated with accessing and studying Persianate manuscript material today, and the resulting need for increased communication and cooperation across multiple fields.

The PMA has four main objectives:

  • To organise regular online workshops, conferences and codicological training courses;
  • To publish members’ manuscript findings, archival reports and research summaries in realtime, citable blog-post form;
  • To provide modest grants for copyright permissions, digital image acquisition and research travel;
  • To establish an international database of scholars, curators and librarians to contact for collaboration and research assistance.

Once critical membership mass is achieved, the PMA will also launch an online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the professional and efficient publication of members’ research.

The membership year runs from January to December, but new applications are welcome at any time. Annual membership gives access to all of the above benefits.

News & Events

Registration link:

https://theias.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_5Yk6EwXmQdy_HRcwH_C3jQ

5-6 November 2021

Prince Baysunghur, Before and After: Timurid Manuscripts in Context

The inaugural symposium of the Persian Manuscripts Association  celebrates the 600th anniversary of the first manuscript produced at the royal library-atelier of the Timurid Prince Baysunghur (1399-1433) in Herat. Prince Baysunghur, Before and After: Timurid Manuscripts in Context, is a two-day international symposium, held on 5-6 November 2021, and hosted by the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. 

Baysunghur’s patronage of manuscript production is significant for exhibiting a high artistic refinement in the arts of the book, but the patron was also actively involved in the scholarly aspect of the works to be reproduced. He commanded editions and the preservation of texts in a variety of fields, notably history, ethics and literature.

This symposium brings together scholars and international experts in a number of disciplines to explore the connoisseurship and patronage undertaken by the prince, the aesthetic of his atelier’s output, their antecedents in the Jalayirid period, and the production of literary editions in his library. 

The full program for this event can be seen here.  Register in advance for this webinar hereAfter registering, you will receive an email containing information about joining the webinar.For additional information please contact Shiva Mihan at smihan@ias.edu.


Webinar series: pre-modern Islamic manuscripts

This is the first Webinar series organised by the NoMansLand research project (FWF Y 1232) dedicated to the study of Islamic manuscripts in pre-modern Iran and Central Asia. The project aims to reconstruct aspects of the production, circulation and consumption of written knowledge during the Mongol and early Timurid periods in Iran and Central. The webinar series presents eight lectures to this effect by world-leading scholars, each delving into different aspects of manuscript studies. It aims to promote research on handwritten material and explore its potential impact on the study of this region during the 13th – 15th centuries. The webinar endeavors to raise awareness of the historical value that surviving codices from the Mongol period have in shaping our understanding of Central Asian and Iranian cultural history. The lectures have been scheduled throughout the academic year 2021-2022. They are free of charge, but registration will be required (registration will be announced for each lecture).

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13-14 July 2021, Oxford

Persian Arts of the Book Conference

About the event

‘Persian Arts of the Book’ gathers scholars from around the world with expert curators from Oxford and beyond to reflect on the Persian manuscript tradition. In a series of short presentations and thematic panel discussions we will examine the poetry, history, and artistic expression contained in these treasures, and the materials and crafts that contributed to making the manuscripts, as well as the history and science of their preservation. Starting with a focus on the history of collections now at the Bodleian Library, the international speakers represent the state of the field of Persian manuscript studies today.

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26 May 2021

A Virtual Workshop on Magic, Healing and Religion at McMaster University

Keynote speaker: 

Dr. Matthew Melvin-Koushki

Associate Professor, Peter and Bonnie McCausland Fellow of History

Department of History, University of South Carolina

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