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Iran and Persian Studies Collection

Collection Details

Iran and Persian Studies Collection held at University of Durham Library [Institution record]

Description of Collection

Content description

Monographs: the Library holds 1270 items on Iran and 1060 items on Persian studies. Of these volumes, only 50% are online and approximately 600 are in Persian. Periodicals: only 4 current periodicals on specifically Iranian subjects are taken at present. However, many of the periodicals on Middle Eastern subjects (see relevant record) also cover Iran. Newspapers: Ettelaat is received on a daily basis and a back set to 1961 is held on microfilm. The Iran Times is also taken in hard copy.

History and development

Same as general holdings


The main strength of the collection is in the history of Iran, with over 500 volumes in stock. Of these, approximately 250 are on the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and Iran's subsequent history. Modern Persian literature, and works on the Persian Language and Persian linguistics are other notable strengths of the collection. In addition to this, the collections on economics, sociology & anthropology, geography, politics and religion & philosophy are worthy of mention.

General arrangement and access regulations

Durham University Library's Iran and Persian Studies collections are available on open access in the Main Library, apart from a small amount of material in store. They are held in the Library's Oriental sequences on Level 1 of the building. Within the monograph sequence the collection is classified using the Library of Congress classification scheme. There are separate Reference and Periodical sequences, also shelved on Level 1. The collection is not subdivided by language, materials in all languages being shelved together.

Subjects of the Collection

Regions of Asia

Near & Middle East and North Africa.

Languages of material

Arabic, English, Persian.


Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Human rights, International relations, Language, Literature, Philosophy, Politics and government, Religion.

Collection Material and Size of Collection

Material Types

Books, Newspapers (includes microfilm editions), Serials.

Total size of collection

2330 volumes, 4 periodical runs, 2 newspapers (1 Newspaper back set on Microfilm)

Size of collection - vernacular

600 volumes in Persian, 1 newspaper, 1 newspaper back set on Microfilm

Size of collection - western

1730 volumes, 1 newspaper

Collection Management Information

The collection is being actively developed, and the average intake has stayed the same.

Annual intake

100 volumes

Content date range

600 to present

Interlibrary loan procedure

Durham lends its Asian Studies material on the same basis as other material.

Collection Catalogue Information


Only half of Durham University Library's holdings on Iran and Persian studies appear in the OPAC. The remainder is recorded in the library's manual catalogues - the Oriental Draft catalogue for material received up to 1975 and the Author catalogue, closed in 1990. These are available on Level 2 of the Main Library.

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