The Encyclopædia Iranica is dedicated to the study of Iranian civilization in the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent. The academic reference work will eventually cover all aspects of Iranian history and culture, as well as all Iranian languages and literatures, facilitating the entire range of Iranian studies research from archeology to political sciences.
The Encyclopædia Iranica is an international, collaborative research project of the Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation, Inc. In recognition of its high academic achievements, the Encyclopædia Iranica has received ﬁnancial support, since its inception in the 1970s, from major sponsors, such as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Persian Heritage Foundation, the International Union of Academies, the Iran Heritage Foundation (London), the Semnani Foundation, the Institute of Ismaili Studies (London), and the Les Amies de l'Encyclopedie Iranica (Paris). Until 2018, the project was carried out at Columbia University, Center for Iranian Studies, recently named Ehsan Yarshater Center for Iranian Studies.
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.
The Encyclopædia Iranica was, until 2017, overseen by its founder and editor-in-chief, Professor Ehsan Yarshater.
Encyclopædia Iranica benefits not only those who are interested in Persian life and culture but also students, specialists, and the educated general reader interested in a variety of academic disciplines. The disciplines represented include, but are not confined to: anthropology, archaeology, geography, art history, ethnology, sociology, economics, history of religion, philosophy, mysticism, history of science and medicine, Islamic history, botany, zoology, folklore, development of agriculture and industry, political science, international relations, and diplomatic history.
Encyclopædia Iranica is an international undertaking and draws on the most authoritative scholarship worldwide to ensure the quality and reliability of its articles. To date over 1,300 scholars worldwide have contributed articles in a variety of languages, including English, Russian, Persian, Turkish, and Chinese. In Volume I alone there were articles by 285 authors.