The Iranian Studies section of the Library covers the language and literary texts in Pahlavi, Khotanese, Soghdian, Ossetic and Georgian. There are also inscriptions and religious texts in the original languages of the Zoroastrian and other ancient Iranian religions. This collection relates to the teaching of ancient Iranian languages and texts which took place in the Faculty in the past but are now no longer taught. The section is no longer added to except by gifts and bequests but its contents relate to those studying Persian, Assyriology and Central Asia.
History and development
The collection dates back to the founding collections of the Library. It grew under the stewardship of Sir Harold Bailey and later Dr Ilya Gershevitch whose interests centred on this field. Teaching in this area ended in 1980 and the collection has not been consistently added to since, although it remains complementary to other sections of the Library.
The major strengths of the section lie in the areas of language teaching material and religious texts.
General arrangement and access regulations
The Iranian collection forms one section of the Faculty Library. All the books about Iranian studies and in ancient Iranian languages shelved together using an in-house classification scheme. Some older volumes are shelved in a basement store within the Faculty building.
Subjects of the Collection
Regions of Asia
Central Asia and the Caucasus, Near & Middle East and North Africa.
Anthropology, Archaeology, History, Language, Literature, Philosophy, Religion.
Languages as linguistic focus
Avestan, Khotanese, Ossetian; Ossetic, Pahlavi, Sogdian.