About Iranica

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 project supported by the Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation and carried out at Columbia University. Its compilation was until 2017 overseen by its founder and editor-in-chief, Professor Ehsan Yarshater, and currently by editor-in-chief Professor Elton Daniel. A team of Consulting Editors, all internationally renowned scholars of Iranian studies assist in the commissioning and editing of entries. The in-house editorial staff works at Columbia University's Ehsan Yarshater Center for Iranian Studies.  Entries are solicited by invitation only, and are subject to peer review to ensure factual reliability, scholarly objectivity, and political independence.
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 Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation, established in 1990, is dedicated to guaranteeing the Encyclopædia Iranica's intellectual independence by covering its operating budget. 


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.