What is the Encyclopædia Iranica?

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.

In what language is the Encyclopædia Iranica published?

The Encyclopædia is published in English to make it accessible to the widest possible global readership. A projected Persian translation is envisaged once the Encyclopædia has been published in its entirety.

Who sponsors Encyclopædia Iranica?

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 (tax identification number 13-3636524). The Foundation’s main purpose is to promote the cause of Encyclopædia Iranica and to ensure its continuation as a scholarly and vibrant databank of all aspects of Iranian culture and history in its widest temporal and spatial context.

The Foundation has established an endowment fund to support the Encyclopædia Iranica project, and funds the majority of its costs. Even though the Foundation’s charter empowers it to carry out the Encyclopædia Iranica project independently, in practice the project was until recently administered by a team of editors and staff members at the Center for Iranian Studies at Columbia University, now named the Ehsan Yarshater Center for Iranian Studies. In the past, the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) provided grants to support the Encyclopædia Iranica, and classified it as a “major project”. Except for the first three years, the NEH grants required raising matching funds.

In addition to the NEH grants, which ended in 2016, several institutions and individuals have generously contributed and continue to contribute to the funding of the Encyclopædia Iranica project. The need, however, is ever-present, and we encourage all those who value the completion of this monumental project to consider supporting it with their contributions, by visiting the Support and Donations page.

How can one purchase printed volumes of Encyclopædia Iranica?

Ordering details can be found on the Printed Volumes page.

How objective is Encyclopædia Iranica?

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

Who would find the Encyclopædia Iranica useful?

Students, scholars, and educated readers; in brief, all those who are eager to learn more about Iranian peoples and their culture will find the Encyclopædia an indispensable source of information. Iranians brought up abroad will find it particularly useful for learning about their cultural heritage.

How many volumes have been published?

Thus far, sixteen volumes have been published in the print edition; and almost 9,000 articles through the letter Z have been posted online out of alphabetical turn.

Why is the Encyclopædia Iranica so detailed?

The long history of the Iranian peoples and their significant contributions to world culture make it incumbent upon the Encyclopædia Iranica to do justice to the full scope of all available information. As such, articles are as detailed as possible to ensure a level of comprehensiveness appropriate for scholarly research.

How can I support the Encyclopædia Iranica?

You can support the Encyclopædia by making a one-time or regular donation by check, credit card, or online to the Encyclopædia Iranica Foundation. To donate, please visit the Support and Donations page.

You can also help by subscribing to the Encyclopædia and by encouraging your friends and local public and school libraries to do the same.

For purchasing information, visit the Encyclopædia Iranica Foundation Printed Volumes page.

Revised August 2020