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Or Ms 729: Pocket Ruzname (almanac) of Şeyh Vefa, c. 1091 A.H., c. 1680 C.E.

Identifier: Or Ms 729

Scope and Contents

This manuscript is a copy of the perpetual calendar traditionally known as the Ruzname ("almanac") of Şeyh Vefa. It is comprised mainly of tables for calendar conversion with instructions in Ottoman Turkish (in Arabic script). The volume contains eight coloured discs, one of which marks the qibla, or the direction towards the Kaaba in the Sacred Mosque in Mecca (pictured at the centre of the disc). Two of the other discs are volvelles, i.e., rotating paper wheel charts used to make calculations or predictions.

Besides the calendar, which gives times for the five daily prayers of Islam for each month of the year, the manuscript also includes an Arabic prayer and, in the margins, astrological notes on lucky days. The scribe of this manuscript follows tradition in attributing the almanac to Şeyh Vefa (or Sheikh Wafa), a mystic who worked in the Muayyad Mosque in Cairo and died in 1471. Modern scholarship, however, identifies the author as the 9th-century Persian mathematician and astronomer Abū al-Wafā Būzhjānī. Internal evidence suggests that the manuscript dates from ca 1680 C.E. but the exact place of publication in unkown.


  • Creation: c. 1091 A.H.
  • Creation: c. 1680 C.E.


Language of Materials

Ottoman Turkish (Script: Arabic)

Conditions Governing Access

Open. Please contact the repository in advance.


1 booklet (In a small white envelope.)

Physical Location

8vo (115 x 160 mm). 16 pages on 9 folios. Includes 8 coloured discs (one with 2 moving parts). All pages within gilt and ruled borders. Modern brown cloth with marbled covers. A few insignificant edge flaws, otherwise fair condition.

Custodial History

Probably Ottoman, but exact place of production unknown. The manuscript was formerly in the collection of the Swiss industrialist Henry W. Schaefer, and was then in a private collection in Germany before being acquired by the University.

Previous reference

This item was briefly assigned the reference "Coll-2022" before being moved to the Or Ms sequence in September 2022.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased in February 2021. Accession no. SC-Acc-2021-0022.

Processing Information

Catalogued in October 2021 by Aline Brodin and Paul Barnaby, using information from the seller and from Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila, Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Edinburgh.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379