Journal of history of Iran)

Document Type : review paper


We often read texts and printed material quickly, but should researchers and cataloguers read a hand-written document in the same way? This research focuses on an endowment deed (vaqf-nâme) from Qajar Iran dated 12951878/ measuring 61 x 29 cm. It shows that the founder of the endowment (vâqif) constituted the standing property of three gardens adjoining one another as an endowment (vaqf) in the first stage (12951878/) and then subsequently, in the margins of the deed, the land of the gardens was added to the endowment in the second stage (12981881/). The judicial endorsements, however, are all related to the second stage. We can conclude therefore that in the Qajar period it was common practice for scribes to record "a succession of legal acts that occurred at separate times" in one single document. In this case, the scribe of the second stage of legal proceedings refers to the first stage (recorded in full) using key words to avoid repetition. Moreover, the judicial endorsements are significant for both the first and second stage recorded in the document.