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The Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation was established in 1990 with the mission to guarantee the Encyclopædia Iranica's intellectual independence and ensure its ongoing publication both in digital and print versions. Learn More


Encyclopædia Iranica

The Encyclopædia Iranica is a comprehensive research tool dedicated to the study of Iranian civilization in the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent.


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Columbia University and the Encyclopædia Iranica Foundation Reach Agreement Relating to Renowned Encyclopædia Iranica

The Encyclopædia Will Continue to Be Published at Another Reputable Academic Institution and Its Online Content Will Continue to Be Freely Available

Columbia University (“Columbia”) and the Encyclopædia Iranica Foundation (“EIF”) announced today that the parties have reached an agreement with respect to the Encyclopædia Iranica, an ongoing scholarly resource on Persian and Iranian history that has been published continuously since 1982. EIF will support the research and development of the Encyclopædia Iranica at another reputable academic institution.

The Encyclopædia Iranica was founded by historian and scholar Ehsan Yarshater, who had been a Professor at Columbia University and the Director of the Yarshater Center for Iranian Studies at Columbia University. In 1990, Professor Yarshater established EIF to provide the necessary resources to ensure the publication of the Encyclopædia.

For almost three decades, Columbia and EIF worked cooperatively to support and produce the Encyclopædia. Since 2018, the parties have been engaged in litigation regarding the ownership of the intellectual property associated with the Encyclopædia.

Despite their differences, Columbia and EIF share an overarching, common interest in the success and continuation of the Encyclopædia. Both sides also recognize that their current dispute does not serve those interests, and is not in the interests of the Encyclopædia, the scholars worldwide who contribute to its academic content, the generous donors who have faithfully supported the Encyclopædia financially, and the Encyclopædia’s dedicated readership. Accordingly, the parties have worked together in good faith to arrive at a resolution that puts the interests of the Encyclopædia Iranica, its supporters, and its contributors first.

Under the agreement, the academic functions of the Encyclopædia will be transferred to a reputable academic institution with an established Iranian Studies program. The parties have agreed that the new academic home for the Encyclopædia, which will be selected and announced in the coming months, will have the resources, ability, and demonstrated interest in assuming responsibility for, and making a sustained commitment to, the continued publication of the Encyclopædia, maintaining its standard for academic excellence.

Under the agreement, EIF will provide the necessary support for the Encyclopædia. Finally, the agreement will completely resolve all pending litigation between the parties, and provide clarity with regard to the ownership of the intellectual property associated with the Encyclopædia.

EIF thanks Columbia and the dedicated staff of the Yarshater Center for Iranian Studies for their years of faithful commitment and service to ensuring that the Encyclopædia Iranica consistently met the highest academic standards.

Columbia thanks EIF for its years of steadfast commitment and support for the Encyclopædia Iranica.

Encyclopædia Iranica

Published in English, Encyclopædia Iranica is a multi-volume, multi-disciplinary work designed to provide a detailed and accurate picture of an important world civilization over a span of several thousand years. It is the most extensive compendium ever conceived on the past and present culture of the Iranian peoples and their contribution to the broader history of human civilization.

The Encyclopædia Iranica Foundation, Inc. was established in 1990 as an independent not-for-profit 501(c)(3) public foundation registered in New York State. The Foundation’s main purpose is to promote the cause of Encyclopædia Iranica and to ensure its continuation as an independent scholarly databank.

The Foundation has established an endowment fund to support the Encyclopædia Iranica project, and funds the majority of its costs. The Foundation’s charter empowers it to carry out the Encyclopædia Iranica project independently.

Encyclopædia Iranica is a non-partisan, non-political, non-religious, non-ideological, and an entirely independent compilation of objective, documented, and reliable information that has drawn on the expertise of leading scholars world-wide at major universities and academies in North America, Europe and Asia.

Students, scholars, and all those eager to learn more about Iranian peoples and their culture will find the Encyclopædia Iranica an indispensable source of information. Those Iranians brought up abroad, interested in learning about their cultural heritage, will particularly benefit from this objective and unbiased resource.


Encyclopædia Iranica Foundation Announces Pathway Book Service As Its New Distribution Partner

Encyclopædia Iranica Foundation has partnered with Pathway Book Service to distribute its printed publications. (Continued)

University of Toronto and the Encyclopædia Iranica Foundation Announce Innovative Multiyear Partnership

Heralding a dynamic era for Iranian Studies, we are delighted to announce an innovative multiyear partnership between the University of Toronto and the Encyclopædia Iranica Foundation. (Continued)