Digital Humanities

A digital toolbox for Iranian Studies and related fields

A research repository for finding sources, literature, and more.

It motivates me time and again how many digital tools, collections, research projects, inspiring blogs and podcasts about Iranian Studies there are now. The scattered links that I have been accumulating, will be bundled here in this research compendium. The list will be updated regularly, suggestions are always welcome! To make a suggestion or report a mistake: Contact me via email or twitter.

Substiantial contributions were gathered from these fantastic resources: HAZİNE, Amanda Hannoosh Steinberg, Shervin Farridnejad, Evyn Kropf, Translatio Bonn, Islamicate Digital Humanities Network and Munazza Ebtikar.

Please note: vezvez-e kandū is an independent research project to advance academic and public knowledge about Iranian Studies. This blog is not affiliated with any group, party or movement, and is not funded by any institution. The links shared below are not endorsements.

18 July 2024

Last updated (view changelog)


Links added to the list


Links still in backlog

Table of contents

1. Literature

Search engines
  • BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine, lists over 150 million documents, of which 60% are OpenAccess)
  • CrossAsia (Search in over 100 millions of bibliographical data in Asian Studies and beyond)
  • CrossRef (Search for metadata of journal articles, books, and many more)
  • Europeana (Searches thousands of european archives, libraries und museums, contains over 50 million digitized books, works of art and music)
  • Google Scholar
  • Internet Archive Scholar (academic search engine by the Internet Archive)
  • Open Access Button (a website and browser extension that searches for legally accessible journal articles by URL, DOI, PMID, PMC ID, title, or citation)
  • PropylaeumSearch (mainly classical studies and historiography)
  • Semantic Scholar (search tool for scientific literature maintained by the Allen Institute for AI)
  • The General Index (the largest journal index of the world: a searchable database of over 107.2 million journal articles, spanning more than 355 billion rows of text, created by archivist Carl Malamud)
  • Unpaywall (a free browser extension that gives access to over 30 million academic articles)
Databases & bibliographies

Database search (Project by Univ. of Augsburg and Regensburg)
CrossAsia (Database and full text portal specialized in Asian Studies, after free signup it allows the use of otherwise licensed databases)
General overview of academic databases (Project by University of Heidelberg)
ZDB – Zeitschriftendatenbank (extensive database of periodicals from 1500 until now)

Publication platforms
  • Academia (Social academic platform)
  • ArtDok (Art History)
  • heiDOK (Document server of the University of Heidelberg)
  • Humanities Commons (Academic network and publication platform in the Humanities with OpenAccess texts on a big variety of topics)
  • Perspectivia (Publication platform of the Max Weber foundation)
  • PropylaeumDoc (Classical/Ancient Studies)
  • ProQuest (e-books and dissertations)
  • ResearchGate (Social academic platform)
Digital archives and full text repositories
Dissertations and theses
Academic reviews

2. Primary sources, data, and media

Digitized manuscripts, codicology resources and inscriptions
Archaeology, architecture, material culture, art history and photography
Oral history and language documentation
  • DOBES – Gorani (you can jump directly to the corpus here)
  • Iranian Oral History Project (Project of Harvard University, “the collection consists of the personal accounts of 134 individuals who played major roles in or were eyewitnesses to important political events in Iran from the 1920s to the 1980s”)
  • RAIOH – Research Association for Iranian Oral History (founded by Hamid Ahmadi, the material comprises 1100 hours of interviews with 115 Iranians from four generations, and covers the period from 1919 until 2010)
Linguistic data and corpora
  • ALA – Linguistic Atlas of Afghanistan (originally called “Atlas linguistique de l’Afghanistan”, this project is based on extensive linguistic research in Afghanistan and adjacent areas during the 1960s & 1970s, however the planned “Linguistic Atlas” was never published and the project was discontinued in the 1980s. After all these years of stagnation, the Norwegian Institute of Philology has analysed the archive and wants to revive the project of a Linguistic Atlas of Afghanistan)
  • Atlas of dialect geography of Kurdistan province of Iran (an interactive map that displays dialect data gathered in various studies, a project by the Research Institute of Kurdish Studies at the University of Kurdistan, Iran)
  • HamBam Corpus (The  corpus contains annotated recordings of contemporary spoken Persian, compiled as part of a cooperation between Bu-Ali Sina University in Hamedan, Iran, and the University of Bamberg in Germany)
  • LingBuzz (Open Access article archive and community space for Linguistics)
  • Parsig Database (A steadily growing database that will contain all Middle Persian Zoroastrian texts and words (40,000 so far), which will be verified and tagged manually, adding transliteration, calligraphy, Persian translation, word bases and grammatical details)
  • Peykaregān (collection of 85 Persian linguistic databases)
  • PLDB – Persian Linguistic Database (the PLDB, which aims at providing examples for all types of spoken and written Persian for all periods of its development across many text genres, offers a vast collection of searchable Persian corpora with until now more than 350 million words)
  • PersPred (an online multilingual syntactic and semantic database of Persian compound verbs (complex predicates), developed by the members of the research unit Mondes iranien et indien (CNRS, Sorbonne Nouvelle, Inalco, EPHE)
  • Proto-Indo-European Lexicon (the generative etymological dictionary of Indo-European languages, a project at the University of Helsinki. It presents digitally generated data of hundred most ancient Indo-European languages with three hundred new etymologies for Old Anatolian languages, Hitttite, Palaic, Cuneiform Luwian and Hieroglyphic Luwian, arranged under two hundred Indo-European roots)
  • WALS – The World Atlas of Language Structures (extensive linguistic database of structural (phonological, grammatical, lexical) properties of languages gathered from descriptive materials (such as reference grammars) by a team of 55 authors)
Music and sound documents
Social science data and statistics
Geography and cartography

If you are looking for historical map material, it is always worth taking a look at these digital archives.

  • ANR Ctesiphon: Coinage of Husraw (a numismatic research project that is part of the CNR Ctesiphon project, which focuses on the reign of Sasanian ruler Khusro I and the orient in the 6th century, and is related to the Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum, which analyses over 3,000 coins)
  • British Museum Collection: Coins (the online collection of the British Museum in London also holds hundreds of Iranian coins)
  • CoinArchives (database of coins featured in numismatic auctions)
  • Das Antlitz des Fremden (“The stranger’s countenance”) (the online catalogue of an exhibition residing in Vienna, displaying numerous coins of the Iranian Huns and Western Turks in Central Asia and India)
  • Digital Coin Cabinet of the IKMK collections (joint interactive catalogue of 30 public coin collections (museums and universities) in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Greece, including plenty of coins of Iranian provenance, particularly from the coin cabinets of Vienna and Berlin)
  • Gallica: Monnaies (database of the coin cabinet of the Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris), also contains ancient Iranian coins)
  • MANTIS (database on the coin collection of the American Numismatic Society (New York), including a large number of ancient Iranian and Islamic coins)
  • Nomisma (collaborative project to provide stable digital representations of numismatic concepts according to the principles of Linked Open Data)
  • Parthia (overview and detailed information on Parthian (Arsacid) coinage, classified after David Sellwood’s 1980 typology)
  • Princeton Numismatics Collection (database of Princeton University’s numismatic collection, including hundreds of Iranian coins)
  • Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum (an ongoing collaborative research project to analyse nearly 3,000 coins Sasanian coins in the collections of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, and the Coin Cabinet at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. The research results will be published in 6 volumes. The project is hosted at the University of Vienna and is also occupied with an in-depth treatment of the Sasanian coinage system on as broad a basis of material as possible, and will also look at the position of coinage as a source for the political, economic, and administrative history of the Sasanian Empire)
  • ZENO (oriental coins database including specimens from numerous private collections)

3. Academia

Academic journals

CAIRN (french language journals and e-books)
DOAJ (directory of OpenAccess journals)
MUSE (academic journal collection, many open access)
Open Edition (academic open access journals)
SAGE Journals (overview of all journals at SAGE)

Universitary institutes
Germany, Austria, Switzerland
Institutions, academic societies and networks
Archived academic projects
  • Sino-Iran (From their self-description: “Between 2022 to 2024, the EU-funded SINOIRAN project explored Sino-Iranian relations throughout the first millennium CE, examining political, religious, and material exchanges between China and Iran. By building a bridge between modern Sinology and Iranology, the project worked on the history of Sino-Iranian relations in close coordination with Iranologists in Italy and Europe.” Lead investigator was Jeffrey Kotyk, supervised by Antonio Panaino.)
Awards, prizes and competitions

4. New Media

Social media communities
Tools & Apps
  • Abjad Calculator (an online tool by Theo Beers that calculates the abjad value of Arabic or Persian script)
  • Anki (create digital vocabulary and learning cards)
  • ʿArūż – Persian Prosody (online tool that performs quantitative analysis of Persian meter)
  • Attribution Generator (License information for images from Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons)
  • Behnevis (converts Pinglish into Persian script)
  • Calendar Converter for Near East Historians (practical calendar converter by Theo Beers)
  • Character picker of last resort (very practical tool for transliterations by Theo Beers)
  • CORE Discovery (Website and browser-addon that discovers articles available without paywall. The browser-addon will also hint you to related articles)
  • Fragmentarium (a laboratory for medieval manuscript fragments that enables libraries, collectors, researchers and students to publish images of medieval manuscript fragments, allowing them to catalogue, describe, transcribe, assemble and re-use them)
  • GoogleDocs as an OCR-tool (a guide by Christopher S. Rose)
  • #ICanHazPDF (if you need access to an academic article behind a paywall, you can request it on twitter by adding the hashtag #ICanHazPDF to your tweet. Users who follow the hashtag and have access can then contact and send it to you by email. It is common to delete such tweets after success. Caution: This process is deemed copyright infringement in some countries)
  • Jedli (allows complex text search in Arabic language documents, project of the University of Hamburg)
  • Kalīla and Dimna Reader (a tool for access to various texts and translations of Kalīla and Dimna, another tool by Theo Beers)
  • LexiQamus (linguistic analysis tool for analyzing Ottoman Turkish, it can be used to decipher difficult to read words, offers search results from dictionaries, and variant spellings)
  • List of university presses (if it’s unclear in which city a certain university press is located, here you will find relief)
  • Mirador (Open-source, web based, multi-window image viewing platform with the ability to zoom, display, compare and annotate images from around the world)
  • Open Access Button (a website and browser extension that searches for legally accessible journal articles by URL, DOI, PMID, PMC ID, title, or citation)
  • Persian romanization examples (ongoing project of Theo Beers for a sensible adaptation of the IJMES transliteration system for Afghan Persian)
  • (tool for quantitative analysis of Persian meter)
  • Qur’an Tools (digital tool for critical study of the text, construction, and language of the Qur’an, free & open source, developed by Andrew G. Bannister and R. Michael McCoy. Instances can be hosted on servers, a guide for getting started is available here, free access is provided via the Melbourne School of Theology. News and updates are posted on the tool’s twitter feed)
  • Rescribe (free and open source desktop tool for historic OCR on Mac, Linux and Windows)
  • ScanTaylor (convert scans or photos of Arabic or Persian texts into PDFs)
  • Tesseract (OCR tool for advanced users, available via GitHub)
  • The Persian meters (an overview of the Persian meters after Thackston, provided by Theo Beers)
  • TinEye Reverse Image Search (helps tracking down where an image first appeared online, also useful for uncovering online misuse and decontextualisation of art and photography)
  • Tropy (manage image files for research purposes)
  • Unpaywall (a free browser extension that gives access to over 30 million academic articles)
  • ZotFile (a plugin for popular free citation management software Zotero that manages attachments: automatically rename, move, and attach PDFs (or other files) to Zotero items, sync PDFs from a Zotero library to a other devices and extract annotations from PDF files)

5. Language skills

Audio books
  • Combined Persian Dictionaries Search (Hosted by the University of Chicago)
  • New Persian-English Dictionary (published in Tehran, 1962 by Sulayan Hayyim, hosted online by the University of Chicago)
  • Steingass Persian-English Dictionary (the famous dictionary by Francis Joseph Steingass available online, hosted by the University of Chicago)
  • Vajehdan (a tool by programmer Ayub Kokabi that let’s you look up words, especially lesser known and less frequently used words in various Persian dictionaries, and helps users find synonyms and antonyms)
  • vajehh (a multi-functional dictionary and thesaurus that allows for looking up the correct spelling of words, their synonyms, related words and terms, the Persian equivalent of foreign words, and even to search the Ganjoor poetry database for verses that relate to your search)
  • Vajje (search tool that allows looking up Persian words in many foreign language dictionaries)
  • Vajehyab (search in all major Persian-Persian dictionaries, mobile apps available, too)
Language Courses
  • glottothèque: Ancient Indo-European Grammars Online (a project at the university of Göttingen has gathered experts to offer online course material on 12 Indo-European languages: Old Albanian, Classical Armenian, Avestan, Gothic, Ancient Greek, Hittite, Old Irish, Early Latin, Old Lithuanian, Old Church Slavonic, Tocharian, and Early Vedic)
  • uzvān ī pārsīg – Pārsīg Language (a didactically well-structured blog about the Pārsīg language, with detailed information about the text corpus, lexicon, grammar, language history, representations in art history, and a language learning course with 30 lessons)
Language Games
  • Vaajoor (the popular Wordle language game in Persian)
Typing skills
  • 10fastfingers (Practice and measure your typing speed, the language of the texts can be changed to Persian)
  • Typeo (A digital Persian touch typing course)
  • Hamtype (Another digital Persian touch typing course)
  • uType (Another digital Persian touch typing course)
  • TypeKadeh (Various typing courses and exercises, account registration required)
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By Vincent Vaessen

Works in refugee and youth welfare, former student of Iranian Studies, avid music collector, podcast listener, Linux and free software enthousiast.

7 replies on “A digital toolbox for Iranian Studies and related fields”

Dear Mehrzad, thank you for your comment, I created a new section called “Social science data and statistics” and added the Iran Data Portal to the list.

درود به شما قربان، آیا اجازه دارم با الهام از جعبه‌ابزارِ شما، چیزی مشابه در سایت خودم برایِ مطالعاتِ تطبیقی قرآن و بایبل بسازم؟

سلام بر شما، ممنون از پیام مهربانتان، خیلی خوشحالم که این جبعه‌ابزار برای کارهای پژوهشی خودتان قابل استفاده است و انگیزه برای پروژه‌ی مشابه‌ای در یک زمینه‌ی دیگر داده است. از آنجایی که تمام این لینک‌ها در فضای مجازی یعنی در دسترس عمومی هستند و کار من فقط جمع‌آوری و رده‌بندی است، و از آنجایی که به نظر من دانش و دسترس به آن باید برای همه‌ی انسان‌ها آزاد باشد، افتخار می‌دانم وقتی که کسانی دیگر از سایت وزوز کندو استفاده می‌کنند. حتماً لینک سایت خودتان را بهم بفرستید تا اضافه‌اش کنم به لیست وبلاگ‌های پژوهشی.

ممنونم، زنده و پاینده باشید. من هم لینکِ این صفحه را درابتدای جعبه‌ابزارم می‌آورم.

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