Persian National Bibliography


Persian Celestial Globe, rare solid wooden sphere held in the Library of Congress



National library of Iran (NLI) was established in 1937, one of its most significant roles was creating a comprehensive list of publications produced within the country. Also the parliament in Iran passed legislation for a mandatory depository law in 1907. It requires all publishers to submit 2 copies of every published Persian-language material to the National Library. It includes materials about Iran published in other countries as well. Therefore, according to an agreement between the National Library and cultural sections of a number of Iranian Embassies around the world, one copy of all Persian books that have been published in other countries are to be collected and submitted to the National Library of Iran. Although the law was passed in 1907 and despite many efforts made by NLI directors, it was not enforced for over fifty years. Only from 1964 onwards NLI began to receive a regular flow of national publications. But even so, only a part of national publishing output was ever delivered to NLI.

The interests and objectives of national bibliography vary in different countries, but it is often defined as the reflection of a country’s history and culture in a chronological order. Iranian national bibliography (Ketab Shenasi Melli Iran) was first initiated by Iraj Afshar in 1954, and was published by the Royal Institute of Translation and Publication of Persia. Despite the long history of creating traditional national bibliography, publication records, do not go far back in the history. The earliest edition lasted for ten years. Another valuable collection was created by H. BaniAdam under various subject headings which chronologically followed Afshar’s work(Tehran 1973) arranged by Dewey decimal classification. Children’s books are also listed at the end of this bibliography. Later an expanded and revised edition was published in 1967 covering a ten year time span(1954-1963).

As a result of Afshar and BaniAdam’s work the National Library of Iran launched an annual publication of Iran national bibliography.

A brief history of the Iranian National Bibliography

Years Events
1963-1967 Title: The National Bibliography, published by: Intesharat-i Iran
1968-1969 It was not published
1970 The title was changed to National Bibliography of Iran Published annually
1971-1975 Published quarterly
1976-1980 Published semiannually
1981-1982 Published annually
1983-1990 Published with revised index, by the Iranian National Library
1983-1996 Published semiannually
1990 Iranian National Library changed its name to National Library of the Islamic Republic of Iran
1997- Present Available on compact discs, published three times a year. The latest CD, contains previous bibliography in addition to the present status

National Bibliography, Iranian Publication, Tehran,
(Kitabshinasi-i milli, intisharat-i Iran dar sal 1342, chapkhane Ferdowsi), Ministry of Arts and Culture, National Library, 1963,p.197

This national bibliography was published by Ferdowsi publishing house for the National Library, under the supervision of the Ministry of Arts and Culture in 1963 in Tehran-Iran. In the present collection:

  • Bibliographic information has been arranged according to the Dewy Decimal classification
  • Periodicals are not in any specific order
  • Author and title index are included

Subject headings are as follows:

  1. General collection (bibliography of bibliographies)
  2. Philosophy, psychology, logic
  3. Religion
  4. Social sciences
  5. Linguistics
  6. Pure science
  7. Applied science
  8. Arts and crafts
  9. Literature
  10. Novels and plays
  11. History and geography

Persian National Bibliography 1 Persian National Bibliography 2


Yarshater, Ehsan. A bibliography of pre-islamic Persia. Vol. 2. Persian studies series. London: Mansell, 1975, edited by: Pearson, JD

Call Number: 915.5 P431

This bibliography has been complied under the auspices of the Royal Institute of Translation and Publication under JD Pearson’s supervision in addition to an advisory committee. The work on this bibliography started in 1968 and was finished in 1969.  Entries have been collected from existing bibliographies, from footnotes and lists of references in other books, and from the catalogues of libraries such as the British Museum, Edinburgh University Library and the Library of the School of Oriental and African Studies. Many runs of periodicals have been exhaustively checked.

Specialists will probably find the classification system rather arbitrary; however, an author index is included for some additional help. The bibliography represents an attempt to include all the printed literature available in western European languages. Soviet publications have been omitted because a similar bibliography in Russian already exists. Following the advice of the General Editor, a selection of publications in the Persian language was later prepared by Dr. Ahmad Tafazzoli of the University of Tehran, and incorporated in the bibliography. Original texts and translations of classical sources such as Herodotus, Xenophon, Plutarch, etc. have not been included: articles dealing with them will be found in Section B.

A Bibliography of Pre-Islamic Persia   Pre-Islamic2B


Yar-Shater Ehsan, A Bibliography of Persian Printed Books 1818-1967,(Fihrist-i-kitabha-i-capi-ifarsi az agaz ta ahar-i-sal-i-1345 bar asas-i-fihrist-i-Hanbaba Musar wa faharis-ianguman-i-kitab) vol.1-3, Tehran, Iranian Studies Library 1973

The present revised and enlarged edition of this bibliography is a complete bibliography of Persian printed books from 1818, when the first Persian book was published in Tapriz,Iran, to March 1967.

In 1958 the first attempt at a comprehensive bibliography of Persian printed books was published by the Royal Institute of Translation and publication under the support of UNESCO’s Iranian Council of Philosophy and the Humanistic Science. It was compiled by Khan Baba Moshar, who left his precious work of many years at the disposal of the Council. Later, an extension was added by Mr. Moshar, the result of his further research, which brought up the bibliography to 1960.

This edition is essentially based on two sources: a) Moshar’s Bibliography mentioned above, and b) a series of bibliographies published by the Book Society of Persia during the 1960’s. These comprised volumes XI,XII, and XIII of the Book Society’s annual bibliographies of Persian printed books, Tehran, 1966-69, which covered the time span of March 1964 to March 1967: Decennial Bibliography of Persian Printed Books, compiled by H. Baniadam and edited by I. Afshar, Tehran 1968; and a supplement to Moshar’s Bibliograph9y of Persian Printed Books, by K. Rana-Hoseyni, Tehran, 1970.

Persian Printed Book Bibliography 1 Persian Printed Book Bibliography 2