Auckland Library Heritage Trust scholar: Dr Majid Daneshgar

19th century Persian manuscript depicting man and horse, both with wings.

Dr Majid Daneshgar from the University of Otago is the winner of this year’s Auckland Library Heritage Trust scholarship 2016/17. 

Dr Majid Daneshgar
Dr Majid Daneshgar
This is a scholarship awarded annually by the Trust to fund research into collections held in the Sir George Grey Special Collections at Auckland Libraries.

Dr Daneshgar is preparing a catalogue of Middle Eastern manuscripts in Auckland Libraries. These include Arabic, Persian and Ottoman Turkish works collected by Sir George Grey and Henry Shaw.

Dr Daneshgar reads in Urdu, Persian, Arabic, Ottoman Turk, and Malay (Jawi), and is in the process of completing a census of Middle Eastern and Islamic manuscripts in New Zealand.

Libraries and archives that Dr Daneshgar has worked through in search of materials include the Turnbull Library, the Sir George Grey Special Collections at Auckland City Library, the Heritage Collection in Dunedin Public Library, and Special Collections at Otago University.

19th century Persian manuscript
A 19th century hand written and decorated Persian manuscript.

Auckland Libraries are lucky enough to home some gorgeous early 18th and 19th century handwritten and decorated Persian manuscripts. These books were donated to our collections by Henry Shaw in the early 20th century. All of the items pictured are literary manuscripts, made up of poems and stories, all drawn and written by hand.

18th century Persona manuscript with illustration of people seated in a room.
 A Persian manuscript donated by Henry Shaw in the early 20th century.

If you're interested in seeing these treasures or other gems from our collection in person, visit our expert team at Sir George Grey Special Collections, located in Central Library.