Iran and Afghanistan
There are about 3,500 monographs in this collection, of which some 1,500 are in Modern Persian (Farsi), and 2,000 in Western languages on Iran. This figure does not include items on pre-Islamic Iran which are integrated into the Library's main sequences outside of the Area Studies Collection. There are also separate holdings of periodicals, maps, theses, and electronic resources, and a small number of manuscripts.
The collection has developed in parallel with the University’s research and teaching requirements over a long period of time. The content and focus of the existing collection reflect the chages that have taken place in the University's teaching and research priorities and, to a certain extent, the developments in the Iranian world over this period. As central to classical Orientalist studies, the religious, legal, historical, linguistic, and classical literatures are very well represented. Works on the politics and economic developments in Iran have gradually been built up over recent years. The study of all aspects of Modern Iran and modern Persian literature has been taught as part of the Middle Eastern studies programmes, with an emphasis on different subjects at various times. The current focus of the research and teaching activities in this field is on the politics, foreign relations, economic developments, society and anthropology, and archaeology of Iran and, to a lesser degree, of Afghanistan. These represent the areas in which the Library is most actively acquiring new materials.
There is also good coverage of primary source publications (ca. 2,000 items) from and on Iran and Afghanistan in the Library's Middle East Documentation Unit (MEDU). This includes statistical reports, government planning reports, central bank publications, publications of political and other non-governmental organisations, as well as a wide range of current affairs magazines.
While most material in European languages and recently-acquired material in Persian (2002 onwards) has been catalogued online into the Library's Library Catalogue, some older material and the bulk of the Persian language items are still recorded within manual card catalogues only. All non-Persian language items in MEDU have online catalogue records in the Library Catalogue.