Art And Culture

UK Varsity Digitizing Rare Iranian Newspaper Archives

UK Varsity Digitizing Rare Iranian Newspaper ArchivesUK Varsity Digitizing Rare Iranian Newspaper Archives

A two year project to digitize Iranian newspapers charting the western-backed 1953 coup d’état against Iran’s popularly supported government and the 1979 Islamic Revolution has been launched by the University of Manchester.

The archive chronicles the momentous events in such publications as ‘Mardum-i Iran’, ‘Ayandegan’ and ‘Tehran Mosavvar’, some of the most influential and popular daily newspapers in Iran at the time, reports IRNA.

The newspaper collection, currently housed in the university’s library, was gathered by using high quality scanners equipped with ultra-sonic, double feed detection, automated color detection and image processing applications. The images were then formatted to a high quality and are accessible across all digital devices, according to

The project titled ‘Nashriyah: Digital Iranian History’, is the first step in building a comprehensive digital archive chronicling “these periods of modern Iranian history and events that shaped Iran’s turbulent relations with the West.”

Dr Siavush Randjbar-Daemi, a lecturer in Iranian history, said: “While major UK libraries have endeavored over the decades to build sizeable collections of Persian books the same attention has not been provided to newspapers and periodicals, which are the first drafts of history and essential for studying the political history of Iran.”

These key times in Iran’s history include the era prior to the August 1953 coup d’etat against the democratically elected prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh, and the run-up and period following the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

The project aims to start the effort to bridge this gap, by making available dozens of publications which are ordinarily not available, in hard-copy format or otherwise, from UK libraries.

It seeks to build collaboration with other institutions, both in the UK and overseas that hold similar material, and consolidating availability for present and future generations of scholars.