The State Library of Victoria Foundation holds special fundraising appeals to help the Library acquire, conserve and display significant collection items.
Our most recent appeal reached in excess of its $100,000 target to purchase two illustrated Persian manuscripts. These magnificent manuscripts will be added to the Library's Rare Books Collection, to be treasured by Victorians for generations to come.
The Khamsa (Quintet) of Nizami, manuscript dated AH 915–16 (1509–10 AD)
This outstanding copy of the Khamsa or ‘Quintet’, of the 12th-century Persian poet Nizami contains 15 illustrated folios that are superb examples of the acclaimed 16th-century Shiraz style. Nizami’s legendary love stories told in the Khamsa became models for successive generations of writers and artists.
The Tutinama (Book of the parrot) of Nakhshabi, manuscript dated AH 1223 (1808–09 AD)
Fables involving animals were popular in the Persian world. These include the Tutinama (Book of the parrot) in which a clever parrot entertains a travelling merchant’s wife with stories so enthralling they distract her from going out to meet her lover. Complete manuscripts of the Tutinama are rare, so the opportunity to purchase this fine work, copied in India, is one to be celebrated.
These beautiful books will join a small group of Persian manuscripts at the State Library of Victoria – home to the finest and oldest collection of rare books in Australia. They will be of great interest to scholars and the general public, and will be shown on rotation in the Library’s permanent exhibition Mirror of the world: books and ideas. In addition, the books will be digitised and placed online to be accessed by all Australians.
More about this appeal
Previous Foundation appeals
Find out about some of the unique collection items the Library has acquired with the help of contributions to the Foundation.