Miniature paintings from the estate of Mrs. Adrienne Minassian. The paintings often include text from Persian and Indian tales. Many of the illustrations within the Minassian Collection are depictions of stories from the classical Persian text, Shahnama of Ferdowsi.
From the 10th century C.E. to the present, the Persian language became the cultural lingua franca for a large region stretching from West Asia to Central and South Asia. Today Persian is the native language spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and some regions of Central and South Asia and the Caucasus. This rare Persian language digitization project clearly reflects the diversity and cosmopolitan nature of the collection, since a sizable number of manuscripts and lithographic books originate in India, Central Asia, the Caucasus and regions under Ottoman rule, in addition to the native Persian speaking lands of Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. A good number of the Persian early imprints, especially Persian translations of the Holy Bible were even published in Europe and the West, in the modern printing presses of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.