Encyclopædia Iranica is a project whose goal is to create a
comprehensive and authoritative
English language encyclopedia about
the history, culture, and civilization of
Iranian peoples from
prehistory to modern times.
Encyclopædia Iranica is dedicated to the study of Iranian
civilization in the wider Middle East, the Caucasus, Europe, Central
Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. The academic reference work will
eventually cover all aspects of Iranian history and culture as well as
Iranian languages and literatures, facilitating the whole range of
Iranian studies research from archeology to political sciences. It is
a project founded by
Ehsan Yarshater at Columbia University, started
in 1973 at its Center for Iranian Studies. It is considered the
standard encyclopaedia of the academic discipline of Iranistics.
The scope of the encyclopedia goes beyond modern
Iran (also known as
"Persia") and encompasses the entire Iranian cultural sphere, and far
beyond. Relations of the Iranian world with other cultures (China,
European countries, etc.) are also covered.
Staff and Progress
Yarshater is the editor-in-chief, and managing editor is Ahmad Ashraf.
The editorial board includes Nicholas Sims-Williams, Christopher J.
Brunner, Mohsen Ashtiany, Manuchehr Kasheff, and over 40 Consulting
Editors from major international institutions doing research in
Iranian Studies. A growing number (over 1,300 in 2016) of scholars
worldwide have contributed articles to Encyclopædia Iranica.
The project has published 15 volumes, and is planning on publishing a
total of up to 45 volumes. The full text of most entries is available
free for on-line viewing. In a 2013 interview with BBC Persian,
Yarshater stated that the completion of the project is scheduled for
On March 25, 2007, the
Associated Press released a news report about
Encyclopædia Iranica, claiming that it is "U.S.-backed".
Encyclopædia Iranica published an official response, saying the
report was "inaccurate and libelous", that while the National
Endowment for the Humanities supports the encyclopedia, the Endowment
is "an independent federal agency whose many projects are reviewed and
decided upon by independent panels of scholars", not the U.S.
Government, and that only a third of the encyclopedia's budget is
supplied by the Endowment, not half, as the
Associated Press had
Many foundations, organizations, and individuals have supported
Encyclopædia Iranica. The encyclopaedia has been sponsored since 1979
by the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as the American
Council of Learned Societies, Union Académique Internationale, Iran
Heritage Foundation, and many other charitable foundations,
philanthropic families and individuals.
In a review of Volume III,
Richard W. Bulliet calls Encyclopædia
Iranica "not just a necessity for Iranists [but] of inestimable value
for everyone concerned with the history and culture of the Middle
East". Ali Banuazizi, though, notes that its focus is on
perceived, analyzed, and described by its most distinguished, mainly
Western, students". In 1998, the journal Iranian Studies devoted a
double issue (vol. 31, no. 3/4) to reviews of the encyclopædia,
coming to 700 pages by 29 authors on as many subjects.
United States portal
Academy of Persian Language and Literature
List of online encyclopedias
^ "Citing the
Encyclopedia Iranica. 2013-09-16.
^ "Iranicaonline". Retrieved 1 June 2014.
^ Banuazizi, Ali (1990). "Review of
Encyclopædia Iranica by Ehsan
Yarshater". International Journal of
Middle East Studies. 22 (3):
370–373. doi:10.1017/s0020743800034279. JSTOR 164148.
^ "Praise from Scholars Worldwide". Encyclopædia Iranica. Retrieved
^ Boss, Shira J. (November 2003). "
Encyclopedia Iranica". Columbia
College Today. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
^ Trompf, Garry W. (2008). "
Encyclopedia Iranica - 35: A New Agenda
for Persian Studies?".
Iran & the Caucasus. 12 (2): 385–395.
doi:10.1163/157338408X406137. JSTOR 25597382.
^ "About Iranica". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
^ "Authors". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
^ "چمدان: احسان یارشاطر 'هرگز' به ایران
باز نمیگردد". BBC Persian. 2013-07-04. Retrieved
^ "U.S.-funded encyclopedia revels in Iran's greatness". CTV.
2007-03-26. Archived from the original on 2009-01-16. Retrieved
^ Ashraf, Ahmad (2007-04-05). "Official response of the Encyclopaedia
Iranica to the
Associated Press article of March 25, 2007 entitled
"U.S.-funded encyclopedia revels in Iran's greatness"" (PDF).
Encyclopedia Iranica. Archived (PDF) from the original on
^ "Sponsors". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
^ Bulliet, Richard W. (1992). "Review of
Encyclopædia Iranica by
Ehsan Yarshater". International Journal of
Middle East Studies. 24
(4): 680. JSTOR 164443.
^ Banuazizi (1990), p. 372.
^ "Review of the
Encyclopedia Iranica". Iranian Studies. 31 (3/4).
1998. ISSN 0021-0862. JSTOR i401469.
Encyclopædia Iranica Website. Full-text access to the Encyclopædia
as it currently exists.
Encyclopædia Iranica Events Website. Detailing future and past events
sponsored or supported by Encyclopædia Iranica