Arabic and Persian manuscripts including five donated by William Thurston

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Thurston 1-40, 53-4
  • Dates of Creation
      13th-17th century
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      Arabic, Persian, Syriac, Turkish, and Mongolian.
  • Physical Description
      42 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

Mainly Arabic and Persian manuscripts, 13th-17th century, with a single Syriac, and a single Persian/Turkish/Mongolian manuscript. Five were donated by William Thurston; the provenance of many of the other manuscripts remains unknown.

Administrative / Biographical History

William Thurston (fl 17th century) was a London merchant.

Access Information

Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures see

Acquisition Information

The manuscripts were acquired between 1661 and 1684. Only five, acquired in 1661, were given by Thurston.


Collection level description created by Susan Thomas, Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts.

Other Finding Aids

Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vol. II, nos. 3968-89, 3992-3, 4006-15, 4019, 4021-5.

The manuscripts are also summarily described in the card catalogue, arranged by language, located in the Oriental Reading Room.

E. Sachau, H. Eth and A.F.L. Beeston Catalogue of the Persian, Turkish, Hindstn, and Pusht manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, 3 vols. (Oxford, 1889-1953), vols. 1-2.

J. UriBibliothecae Bodleianae codicum manuscriptorum Orientalium catalogus pars prima (Oxford 1787). See the Arabic Mohammedan section.

Fuller descriptions of a single manuscript may be found in each of the following: Sukias Baronian and F.C. Conybeare Catalogue of the Armenian Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library (Oxford, 1918); A. Nicoll Catalogi codicum manuscriptorum Orientalium Bibliothecae Bodleianae pars secunda, Arabicos complectens (Oxford, 1835); Robert Payne Smith Catalogi codicum manuscriptorum Bibliothecae Bodleianae, pars vi: codices Syriacos, Carshunicos, Mendaeos, complectens (Oxford, 1864)