Charles Bawden, Mongolia 1958. Reproduced with the kind permission of Richard Bawden

Charles Bawden and his Gift to the Trust

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It was with great sadness that the Trust learned of the death of distinguished Mongolian scholar Professor Charles Bawden on the 11th August. Charles Bawden was Professor of Mongolian at SOAS from 1955 to 1984 and his published works on Mongolian literature and history include a Mongolian-English dictionary, published in 1997, which is considered by many to be the most comprehensive ever written. In 1955, he also translated and annotated the Mongol chronicle Altan tobči or ‘Golden Summary’ from old Mongolian script; a 17th century text of the history of …

Jal Amrolia’s Gift to the Library

Ursula Sims-Williams Stories from the Collection Leave a Comment

We were sad to hear last week of the death on 12 May of Jal Amrolia, a long-standing friend of the Ancient India and Iran Trust. Jal Edulji Amrolia was born in Zanzibar on 22nd August 1929 to Tehmina and Edulji Amrolia, one of three siblings with two sisters Khurshed and Sheru. He went to boarding school in Nargol, Gujarat, and then to Technical College in Surat where he met his future wife Banoo (Armin) whom he married in 1955. He returned to Dar-es Salam and got a job in …

AIIT’s Flavour of the Month

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When the Trust was invited by Alan Alder, one of the regular presenters on Cambridge105’s Saturday food programme Flavour, to participate in a feature on food-related books in Cambridge libraries, we thought why not. Although we are not known for our gastronomical collections, it was interesting to note how many books we discovered that were not just cookery books, but also included content on the social and cultural aspects of food in Indian, Zoroastrian and Central Asian life and history. From the collection of two of our founding Trustees, Raymond …

An Unexpected Discovery in the Archives

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Some unexpected recent discoveries at the Ancient India and Iran Trust were two preserved leaves from the bodhi or pipal tree (ficus religiosa). According to Professor Bailey’s note, he discovered the leaf (shown above) on 29 May 1941 in Professor Rapson’s copy of Ausgewählte Erzählungen in Māhārāshṭrī, edited by Hermann Jacobi, Leipzig, 1886 (AIIT A11G 7). The leaf is inscribed, presumably by Professor Rapson himself,  “Bo Tree (Peepul) / Temple of / the Tooth / Kandy / Nov. 1914.” Edward Rapson and Harold Bailey in 1936 (AIIT Bailey Archive) Professor …

Lasting Impressions: Seals from the Islamic World

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A travelling photographic exhibition from the British Library and the British Museum (Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund) at the Ancient India & Iran Trust, 10.30am-3pm Monday-Friday, 24 November-8 December 2010 Curators: Annabel Gallop, British Library & Venetia Porter, British Museum Seals have functioned as symbols of authority from the earliest days of Islam. According to tradition, in 628 the Prophet Muhammad had a seal ring made of silver, carved with the words Muhammad Rasul Allah, ‘Muhammad is the Messenger of God’. Ever since, the inscription has been the main …