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Collecting Persian Music

Courtesy of the MLA Resource Sharing and Collection Development Committee

Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution brought about a massive emigration of the country's artists, musicians, literati and scholars, many of whom have remained active in their fields. The Iranian diaspora has been the major impetus behind the creation of dozens of centres and institutes of Iranian studies. These organizations function either independently or in affiliation with established colleges and universities. Knowledge of them and their work is important as they might be able to: 1) provide the much-needed language and subject expertise for selectors; 2) inform selectors of similar or complementary collection building and digital humanities initiatives 3) connect the selector with influential vendors, publishers, music scholars and musicians inside or outside of Iran; 4) provide one-time or ongoing financial aid to libraries and institutions; 5) inform selectors of various grant opportunities available for cultural advocacy initiatives. A  Wikipedia page devoted to this topic has categorized these organizations by geographic location. The page also contains lists of prominent scholars and scholarly journals of Iranian studies.

The following organizations have either supported or shown interest in music-related initiatives:  

The Iran Heritage Foundation is a non-political UK registered charity with the mission to promote and preserve the history, languages and cultures of Iran and the Persianate world. The objectives of the Foundation are achieved by organising and supporting activities of cultural or scholarly merit. IHF programmes include sponsoring teaching posts and fellowships at universities and museums, giving grants for academic research and cultural activities, and organising regular events and conferences, both in the United Kingdom and abroad. For music-related initiatives, look under the Partnerships and Grants pages.

The Foundation for Iranian Studies was established in 1981 as a non-profit educational and research institution to preserve, study, and transmit Iran's cultural heritage; to study contemporary issues in Iranian government and society; and to point to the probable social, economic, political, and military directions Iran might take in the 21st century. The Foundation will increasingly serve as an information center for the study of Iran’s past, present and future. Non-partisan and non-political, the Foundation believes authentic, objective scholarship can and should encompass a multiplicity of intellectual contributions and a diversity of opinions. Look for the Music Archives page in particular.

Roshan Institute for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland aspires to be the premier center for the learning, understanding, and appreciation of Persian culture in the United States. Toward this end, Roshan Institute seeks to provide outstanding course offerings and programs in Persian language, literature, history, and culture; to foster communication and community ties among people of Persian heritage and those interested in Persian studies; and to serve as a model for encouraging intercultural communication among peoples of varying backgrounds. See also the Lalehzar Street Digital Archive, part of a collaborative digital humanities effort in conjunction with Maryland Institute for Technologies in the Humanities (MITH) and UMD Libraries