The Nasser D. Khalili Collection is the greatest collection of Islamic art in private hands. Among its holdings of manuscripts is a fragmentary copy in Arabic of the Jami al-Tawarikh or Universal History, one of the greatest illustrated medieval manuscripts to have survived from either East or West. Written by the historian and vizier to the Ilkhanid court, Rashid al-Din, and copied in Tabriz between 1310 and 1315 by the author's own calligraphers and illustrators, the manuscript's importance as the first world history was quickly recognized. Sheila Blair reconstructs the often complex history of its ownership, explains its seminal role in the evolution of the illustrated Persian book, and challenges the belief of previous scholars that the Nour fragment and that in the Library of the University of Edinburgh are parts of different manuscripts. Her study of the manuscript's text and miniatures - accompanied by numerous colour details and duotone illustrations of comparative material - provides fascinating insights into the state of pre-Mongol painting and the working practices of a Persian atelier over six hundred years ago.