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Collecting Persian Music

Courtesy of the MLA Resource Sharing and Collection Development Committee

This page contains information about library vendors in and outside of Iran.

Established in 2000, Iran Farhang is a book, serials and CD vendor supplying many libraries worldwide. They have an office in Tehran with a number of associates in Europe. Their online catalogue (in Persian only) is a great selection tool for selectors who possess some reading knowledge of Persian. The owner and main representatives speak English fluently; service and client care are top notch; packaging, invoicing and shipment services are also excellent (comparable to that of highly-regarded vendors such as Harrassowitz).

Iran Farhang graciously agreed to ship the UTL items that I purchased in Tehran to Canada. Their contribution was very important for several reasons: 1) each and every item selected received a bibliographic record in the vendor's database, which means that other institutions could potentially order a subset of the collection I built for the UTL; 2) Iran Farhang became familiar with the type and scholarly level of music materials suitable for academic libraries; 3) Iran Farhang assured the safe delivery of all materials, despite the international sanctions that were imposed on Iran at the time (see section on sanctions for more information).

Taking advantage of the LC CAP through working with the LC overseas offices is an excellent way to ensure the steady growth of the area studies collections. The CAP functions similarly to approval plans where selectors define the parameters of the profile, but do not play an active role in the selection process. The disadvantage of the LC programs is a certain lack of flexibility; selectors will not be able to firm order or block titles and the library must find another vendor should those acquisition activities be required (e.g. if faculty members need to consult recently-published titles). The advantage is the acquisition of Persian language monographs not only from Iran, but also its neighbouring countries. The LC programs are not useful when it comes to music scores or audio-visual materials.

Suggestion: Working with both the LC office and a vendor for acquiring new titles could result in unwanted duplication of materials. Libraries could use LC for current acquisitions and other vendors for retrospective gap filling projects.

Los Angeles based bookstore and online vendor of textual and audio/visual materials; their website is bilingual (Persian and English) and has a fine coverage of a variety of subjects, including music; selection and ordering on their site seems to be a straightforward procedure. Clicking on Music (located on the top horizontal menu) opens their CD catalogue. Selectors can use the vertical left-hand facet bar to further refine their searches. Please contact them to inquire about their capacity in providing service to libraries. 

Suggestion: Use this vendor if you wish to purchase CDs of Persian popular and fusion music produced in or outside of Iran. See also this index, which facilitates searches by artist name, genre, instrument, composer, lyricist, etc.