Art And Culture

Documents of Qajar Rule Available Online at Yale University Website

Documents of Qajar Rule Available  Online at Yale University Website
Documents of Qajar Rule Available  Online at Yale University Website

Yale University in the US state of Connecticut has made writings and documents of Iranian author, literary scholar, critical editor and diplomat Ghassem Ghani (1893-1952) available to the public online.

The “Ghassem Ghani Collection MS 235” collection is available at, LISNA reported.

Original documents are kept in the department of Manuscript and Archives of the Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University.

Digitization of the Ghani Collection is the first project of the Yale Iranian History Internet Archive which in due course intends to make available other collections at Yale and elsewhere.

According to Behzad Borhan, a visiting scholar at Yale, important parts of the documents is uploaded on the website of Yale University, and the rest will be put online soon.

Ghassem Ghani Collection MS 235 is a rich collection of Persian documents of the Qajar period (1786-1925). It  consists of over 1,000 documents including official correspondence of Qajar rulers and statesmen, daily notes, such as those addressed to Nasser al-Din Shah (1831-1896) by his celebrated premier Amir Kabir, as well as financial documents, diplomatic dispatches, intelligence reports, and private letters of important figures such as Mirza Hossein Khan Moshir al-Dowleh, the well-known statesman of the 1870s, and Mirza Ali Asghar Khan Amin al-Soltan, prime minister in the late 1880’s and early 1890’s, the Yale University website reports.

Private letters of Mohammad Mosaddeq, prime minister in the early 1950s, are part of the rare collection. There also are documents related to political dissidents and revolutionaries before and during the Constitutional Revolution (1906-1911), as well as correspondence to and from prominent Persian merchant communities in Egypt, letters by the Qajar elite women and reports on recognized dissidents such as Jamal al-Din Afghani and Mirza Malkom Khan.

There also are royal decrees, petitions to Qajar monarchs and officials by the ordinary people and details of litigations brought before state organizations and authorities.

The collection also includes a substantial number of letters in grand style and appearance exchanged between Fat’h Ali Shah Qajar (1798-1834) and his crown prince Abbas Mirza and European courts in early 19th century including the British Prince Regent (as the Prince of Wales was known) and Napoleon Bonaparte when Persian alliance was solicited by both the British and French governments and when Iranian provinces in the Caucasus were first exposed to Russian threat and eventual conquest.

  Method of Access

To search the documents, users should go to the Transcribed Documents section of the given address and enter keywords in any of the three fields, namely “personalities”, “places” and “technical terms.”

Names should be searched without prefixes such as “Mirza” or “Haji.” The transliteration is based on the International Journal of Middle East Studies system prescribed by Cambridge University Press, with the following exceptions: “e” instead of “I” e.g. ketab-e; “o” instead of “u” e.g. Mohsen; and the silent final “h” is written e.g. khaneh. Keywords need not have diacritics.

Technical terms such as “pishkash”, “tankhah” and “amin khalvat” by their Persian transliterations can be searched. However, in most cases, English translations are also provided.

On the search-result page, library reference to the document(s) and the list of keywords can be seen. By clicking on a keyword or on the reference number, a savable and printable PDF file can be accessed. The file consists of a reference to the document, an introduction, the transcribed text of the document, and, most of the time, some annotations on the subject, personalities, places, or technical words.



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