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UK library focuses on annual fundraising drive

London: The UK's renowned Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford is focussing its annual fundraising drive on rare manuscripts this year, with a 17th century Mughal miniature collection from India at the heart of the conservation efforts.

Known as The Douce Album', the manuscript of exquisite miniature paintings and calligraphy was assembled for a member of the imperial family of Shah Shuja, the second son of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and wife Mumtaz Mahal most famous for the Taj Mahal in Agra.

It is described as an album of unrivalled artistic quality from an age that represented the high point of the Mughal dynasty and contains a varied collection of 41 of the highest-quality miniature paintings and exquisite calligraphy within a contemporary lacquered binding.

The Bodleian hopes to raise between GBP 40,000 and 50,000 as part of its Annual Fund campaign to go towards the conservation of Bodleian's historic manuscript collection, including the

album.

Since its creation for a Mughal prince in the 17th century, this unique album's exquisite art works and calligraphy have continued to be viewed, admired and studied, said Hannah Litvack, Development Officer at the Bodleian Libraries.

After four centuries of handling, its condition has become a cause of concern with evidence, amongst other things, of flaking paint and broken sewing threads, which cause the text-block to slide' every time the album is browsed and closed. agencies

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