Art And Culture

First Woman Head of National Library Inducted

Seyed Reza Salehi Amiri (L), Mohammad Nahavandian (C) and Ashraf Boroujerdi at the ceremonySeyed Reza Salehi Amiri (L), Mohammad Nahavandian (C) and Ashraf Boroujerdi at the ceremony

For the first time in its history of 80 years, a woman has been appointed as head of the National Library and Archives of Iran (NLAI), better known as National Library of Iran.

Ashraf Boroujerdi, faculty member and cultural deputy of Iranian Institute of Human Sciences, who was appointed by President Hassan Rouhani, was inducted as the head of the library at a ceremony at its premises in Tehran on April 10, which also bade farewell to the outgoing chief Reza Salehi Amiri, the current minister of culture and Islamic guidance.

The ceremony was attended by Mohammad Nahavandian, the president’s chief of staff; Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the Majlis Foreign Policy and National Security Commission,  Hesam al Din Ashna, cultural adviser to the president; and Ahmad Masjed Jamei, member of Tehran City Council.

Others who attended were philosopher Najaf Qoli Habibi, a trustee of the National Library; Ali Reza Tabesh, CEO of Farabi Cinema Foundation, established in 1983 in Tehran; Vice President for Women and Family Affairs Shahindokht Molaverdi; and Mahmoud Doaee, managing director of Ettelaat, one of Iran’s oldest newspapers, according to the website of the library (

“The library’s collections have seen an increase over the years with the establishment of its strategic council,” said deputy head of the library Gholam Reza Amirkhani, in his address.

Amirkhani referred to a collection of 1,200 manuscripts belonging to an Iranian-Armenian scholar living in New York, and said the library is trying to buy the collection.

Another collection was that of Iranian Shia scholar, historian and hadith narrator Abbas Qomi (1877-1941). “Part of the collection has been purchased with state funds. We hope to unveil the entire collection soon,” he said.

The president’s cultural advisor Hesam al Din Ashna said the National Library has turned “into a key cultural organization providing free access to its archives.”

Hailing the new library head, he said “she is a great researcher in Islamic sciences, particularly in social fields. She was also the first director general at the Interior Ministry’s department for women’s affairs.”

Salehi Amiri said the main assets of the library are employees. The NLAI can further prosper, and all its accomplishments in the recent years are due to the efforts of its staff and the government, he said.

  Research Projects

“To preserve documents is not the sole function of the NLAI; the organization is also tasked with providing favorable conditions for research,” said Nahavandian.

The presidential advisor further said, “We need studies in contemporary history that transfer information and knowledge (pre and post 1979 Islamic Revolution) to the younger generations. This is among the duties of the National Library.”

“The library’s funding has increased 2.5-fold in the past three years, but there is still much to be done in the field of public relations. We hope the new administration will pay heed to this area,” he added.

The new head thanked President Rouhani “for bestowing trust in me.” She also hailed Salehi Amiri “for reviving the forgotten goals of the organization.”   

NLAI is an educational, research, and service institution established in 1937. At the highest level, it is chaired by the president.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints