Stanford has amassed thousands of Persian books, official documents, letters, multimedia pieces and other materials related to Iran’s history, politics and culture.
The collections, held at the Stanford University Libraries and the Hoover Institution Library & Archives, were expanded after the Iranian Studies program was established under the leadership of Professor Abbas Milani.
“The current regime in Iran doesn’t make it easy to collect documents and materials,” said Milani, who was personally involved in obtaining some of the archives. “That’s why it’s important for our program to obtain and preserve as many pieces of history as we can. Our plan is to digitize everything we have acquired and make it available to all future scholars.”
The newest and largest addition to the Iranian archival section at Stanford is a collection of former Iranian diplomat Ardeshir Zahedi’s writings, speeches and correspondence about Iranian foreign relations during the 1960s and 1970s. Zahedi served as an ambassador to the United States and Great Britain and as a minister of foreign affairs in Iran.
The collection also includes rare photos and papers of Zahedi’s father, Fazlollah Zahedi, who was the prime minister of Iran from 1953 to 1955. The materials are in the process of being catalogued at the Hoover Institution and will be available later this year.
“The Zahedi archives are critical for understanding Iranian politics in the last half of the 20th century,” Milani said.