Preservation and Access: Humanities Collections and Reference Resources

Period of Performance

7/1/2013 - 6/30/2016

Funding Totals (outright + matching)

$300,000.00 (approved)
$299,612.73 (awarded)

Encyclopaedia Iranica Online

FAIN: PW-51507-13

Columbia University (New York, NY 10027-7922)
Ehsan O. Yarshater (Project Director: July 2012 to September 2016)

Preparation of the "Encyclopædia Iranica," a multi-disciplinary reference work and research tool on Iranian history and civilization from prehistory to the present. The project would add up to 600 new entries to the online database, update earlier entries, and improve user interaction through social media.

Encyclopaedia Iranica is a major interdisciplinary research tool in the humanities for scholars and students in Middle Eastern, Central Asian, Afghanistan, and the Indian subcontinent. Non-specialists too would find the material interesting and lucidly written. It is a vehicle for the publication of original research or synthesis of current scholarship. All of the articles are written with careful documentation and extensive bibliography by leading scholars from many different countries. This NEH application for the two-year period of July 2013 through June 2015 concerns only the EIr’s digital edition. The project seeks funding to accomplish two interrelated goals during the grant period: (1) add 400-600 new entries to the online database to fill in its coverage in the letters K-Z; (2) build visitor traffic to EIr through timely communication and improved interaction with the help of social media. .

Media Coverage

Celebration of Professor Ehsan Yarshater’s 95th birthday. Columbia University , April 17, 2015 (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Mohamad Tavakoli, Martin Schwartz
Publication: International Society for Iranian Studies Newsletter, vol. 36, no. 1
Date: 6/1/2015
Abstract: The newsletter contains the remarks of two of the speakers at the celebratory event, addressing the life and work of Prof. Yarshater, which includes the Encyclopaedia Iranica, now in its fifth decade.
URL: http://

Special Issue Dedicated to Ehsan Yarshater for his Lifetime Service to Iranian Studies (Review)
Author(s): Farhad Kazemi, Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, Jalal Matini, et al.
Publication: Iran Nameh. A Quarterly of Iranian Studies, vol. 30, no. 2, summer 2015
Date: 6/1/2015
Abstract: This issue of the journal contains 16 articles in Persian and 5 in English by various scholars, in honor of Prof. Yarshater. It also contains 5 essays in Persian by Prof. Yarshater in the areas of autobiography, project history, and Iranian identity.
URL: http://

Associated Products

Encyclopaedia Iranica Online (Web Resource)
Title: Encyclopaedia Iranica Online
Author: Ehsan Yarshater, editor
Abstract: The Encyclopaedia Iranica, as an online resource available (gratis) at, represents a vast fund of searchable information, where coverage of subjects can continue to be updated, expanded, and enriched. Since it covers Iranian influences and interactions over a wide range of time and space, it inevitably addresses many topics that are pertinent, not only to the modern states of Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, but to the Central Asian republics, the Caucasian republics, Iraq and Turkey, India and Pakistan.
Year: 1996
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: This is the home page of Encyclopaedia Iranica Online, including news and events about the project and related areas of interest.

Zoroastrianism in the Encyclopaedia Iranica, vols. 1 and 2 (Book)
Title: Zoroastrianism in the Encyclopaedia Iranica, vols. 1 and 2
Author: multiple authors
Editor: Mahnaz Moazami
Abstract: Zoroastrian theology, cosmology and cosmogony, history of the faith, its rituals and ceremonies, Avestan and Middle Persian texts, festivals such as Nowruz, Mehregan, and Sada, and a host of other topics, hitherto dispersed amidst other entries in their alphabetical sequence in the Encyclopædia Iranica, are gathered together here in a 2-volume set. The two volumes enable the readers to chart their way through complex traditions and debates throughout history, and bring into focus the interdependence of these pioneering contributions. As a thought-provoking and authoritative work of reference, it is a testimony to the fine scholarship and remarkable erudition of its contributors, scholars who have been foremost in ensuring that the Encyclopædia Iranica maintains its high reputation for authoritative comprehensiveness as well as pioneering research.
Year: 2016
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Worldcat entry
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: Eisenbrauns, Inc. - distributor of this and other Encyclopaedia Iranica extract volumes
Access Model: printed book
Publisher: Encyclopædia Iranica Foundation
Type: Edited Volume
ISBN: 9781934283462
Copy sent to NEH?: No