Malek National Library and Museum of Astan Quds Razavi
Malek National Library and Museum is a non-profit, cultural institute donated by Haj Hossein Malek to the holy shrine of the Eighth Imam of Shia Muslims, Imam Reza (A.S).
Malek Library, with over 19000 manuscripts from the 7th to 20th centuries, is one of the six large treasuries of manuscripts in Iran. The library's collection of books can be classified in two groups:
The first group includes historical, literary, scientific and philosophical works of which there is either no other copy or few copies kept in large libraries of the world, such as the scientific treatises of Avicenna, the great Iranian philosopher and physician of the 12th century.
The second group includes books which have been transcribed by the great calligraphers in Iran and the other Islamic countries and have been illuminated by talented artists. Some of the masterpieces on Iran and India that have been transcribed by great scribes are being kept in Malek Library. One could cite, for instance, works by Mir Emad and Alireza Abbasi or works transcribed by Bysunghur Mirza, the grandson of Teimur Goorkani, the third king in the Teimurid dynasty. Also unique copies of books commissioned by the Goorkani royal court in India which belonged to people like Akbar Shah Goorkani, are being kept in Malek Library.
Thus for scholars who are conducting researches on the history, literature, philosophy and the development of science and art in Iran and Islam, Malek Library is one of the sources which they have to observe carefully for an in-depth understanding of the above subjects.
Malek Library also includes printed books and periodicals which are of secondary significance.
Established over 70 years ago, concurrently with the Iranian National Museum, Malek Museum is as indispensable for research on the Iranian art as the Malek Library. The museum comprises the following seven collections:
1. The lacquer art collection includes 96 pen-holders decorated with lacquer paintings. The most ancient pen-holders, which date back to 300 years, have been created at the height of artistic development in Iran during the Safavid era and in India during the Goorkani period.
2. The coins collection includes 3000 pieces of coins and medals from the 6th century B.C. to the second half of the 20th century. The first coins minted in Lidia, the first coins minted in Iran during the reign of Achaemenid King Dariush, rare coins from Greece or those minted during the reign of the successors of Alexander of Macedonia, the Byzantine empire, the Islamic caliphs, the Mongol and Ottoman empires are on display in this section.
3. Collection of art works, including paintings by renowned Iranian artists such as Kamal-ol-Molk Ghaffari (the founder of the school of Realism in Iran), miniature paintings coming from various Iranian royal courts during the 13th to 20th centuries, and also works by European artists of the 18th and 19th centuries.
The stamps collection includes thousands of stamps from the first specimens printed in Iran and in the world to the present time. This is one of the richest stamps.
4. Collection in Iran with memorial stamps printed on the occasion of the nationalization of oil industry in Iran, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and stamps pertaining to Hitler and Mussolini in 1935.
5. The carpet collection includes 34 pieces of rugs and carpets were woven by some of the most skillful carpet weavers of the past two centuries and represents the various methods of carpet weaving in different parts of Iran. Some of the carpets have been woven at workshops that produced carpets exclusively on commission from the royal courts.
6. The calligraphy collection comprises works by some of the greatest and best-known Iranian and Islamic artists such as Yaqut Mostasami, Bysunghur Mirza, Jafar Bysunghur, Mir Emad, Alireza Abbasi, Ahmad Neirizi, Darvish Abdolmajid Taleqani, Vesal Shirazi, Aqa Mohammad Hossein Shirazi, Gholamali Esfahani, Mirza Gholamreza and others.
7. The collection donated by Lady Malek (Hossein Malek's daughter) which includes exquisite art works such as Quranic manuscripts, oil and watercolor paintings from the 17th to 19th centuries.
The works kept in the Malek Museum are on periodic display as it is impossible to display all of the works at one time
Melal-e Mottahed (United Nations) Street, Bagh-e Melli (National Garden), Imam Khomeini Avenue, Tehran. P.O. Box: 11155/547
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