Why were the seals erased from manuscripts?


Why were the seals erased from manuscripts?

It is a well-known fact that during medieval India, specifically during the reign of the Bāburids, a large number of scholars of every subject and artisans migrated to India from Central Asia and Iran.

Why were the seals erased from manuscripts?

These migrants evidently brought books of importance along and in the due course, they reached the private collections in India.

Few learned scholars themselves donated their collection to the Raza Library for safe custody and posterity. Hence, as said, every manuscript has got a different story to tell. It is very difficult, and seems impossible even, to trace the travel of every manuscript included in this catalogue/album (because of the limitation of time). For example, some of the manuscripts, as per their colophon speak of being copied on request by a learned scholar from far-flanged localities. But now those are part of the Raza Library, but how come? It needs special research.

Various types of signatures, information about previous owners and current location, seals of owners and library custodians on manuscripts also tell the story of their travels. Often, when studying old manuscripts, it was found that many seals were erased to conceal the names of previous owners. Thus, the removal of data about the previous owner was commonplace in the formation of valuable collections.

You can learn more about the topic in the book-album "Literary legacy of Uzbekistan in the Collection of the Rampur raza Library" (volume XXXIII) in the series "Cultural legacy of Uzbekistan in the Collections of the World".

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