This site brings you a comprehensive collection of manuscripts of the Shahnama, the Persian epic 'Book of Kings', completed by the poet Firdausi in AD 1010, together with a display of the miniature paintings in each one. There are currently about 1500 manuscripts and single pages recorded, 18,000 records of paintings, and 12,000 images from all over the world, now accessible with a few clicks of a mouse.
It allows you to see and compare all the different depictions of a particular scene in the story, produced over a period of almost 600 years, and to look through the manuscripts held in different collections.
A new book of stories from the Shahnama has recently been published: "Shahnameh. The Persian Book of Kings". Retold by Elizabeth Laird, illustrated by Shirin Adl. Frances Lincoln Children's books, London, 2012 Click here to view.
The State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, New South Wales, Australia, is hosting an international conference on Persian art under the titlle:"Love and Devotion: Persian Cultural Crossroads", from 12 to 14 April 2012. Conference details. This is in association with the exhibition "Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond". For details of the exhibition, click here.
The site is currently undergoing extensive reorganisation, especially to the front pages. Please be patient while the improvements are carried out. Meanwhile, we welcome any feedback about the site or about any of the information it contains.
This is a result of work supported by a Resource Enhancement grant from the AHRC, 2007-2009. Further enhancements are planned and new data is being added at regular intervals.
From 1 October 2010, the Project is located in the Shahnama Centre, 1 Fitzwilliam Street, Cambridge CB2 1QH, tel: 01223 339851, administered by Dr F. Abdullaeva. The establishment of the Centre and the supporting post of Research Associate has been made possible by grants from the Aga Khan Development Network, the Iran Heritage Foundation and the Isaac Newton Trust. The Centre welcomes visiting scholars and suggestions for future collaborations.