FAQs

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 Encyclopaedia 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 stated purpose is to promote the cause of Encyclopaedia 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 and to establish an endowment fund to support the Encyclopaedia Iranica project. However, the Foundation has in fact provided no funding to the project since July 2017. The project itself continues to be adminisgtered by a team of editors and staff members at the Ehsan Yarshater Center for Iranian Studies at Columbia University. The current publisher of the Encyclopædia Iranica is Brill Academic Publishers in Leiden, The Netherlands.

In the past, the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) provided grants to support the Encyclopaedia 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 Encyclopaedia 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 Iranica 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 world-wide 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, fifteen volumes and four fascicles (and one forthcoming) of volume XVI have been published in the print edition; and more than 800 articles through the letter Z have been posted online.

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 Iranica by making a donation for that purpose through Columbia University and the Yarshater Center. To donate, please visit the Support Iranica 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.