Digital toolbox changelog

The latest additions to the Digital toolbox for Iranian Studies

To return to the full Digital Toolbox, click here.

18 July 2024
11 July 2024
  • Harappa – The Ancient Indus Civilization (a website dedicated to the Harappan Civilization 3500-1700 BCE that is maintained by scholars)
  • 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.)
  • The Persian meters (an overview of the Persian meters after Thackston, provided by Theo Beers)
  • Yādgār – maǧale-ye māhīyāne-ye adabī va ʻilmī va tārīḫī (provided by the Translatio project at the University of Bonn, you may freely access the 50 issues of this literary and historic magazine that was published in Tehran from 1944 to 1949)
  • Mahoor Institute of Culture and Arts (based in Tehran, the Mahoor Institute has published over 700 CDs and 300 books since 1987. Very valuable documentary recordings of local music were made by Mahoor all around Iran and their website let’s you browse this extensive musical archive of Iran’s highly diverse musical heritage)
5 July 2024
1 April 2023
  • The Sogdians: Influencers on the Silk Roads (a science blog of Freer & Sackler at the Smithsonian Institution that offers a wealth of information about the trade routes, art and material culture, ancient texts, religion and many more aspects of the Sogdians)
  • GECMO – Groupe pour l’Étude de la Civilisation du Moyen-Orient (a research association focused on the historical Middle East. They also publish a journal and organize conferences, but their website and many links seem to be outdated or not well maintained)
  • Russian Perspectives on Islam (a scholarly project at George Mason University that aims at documenting “the encounter and evolving relationship between the Orthodox/secular state and the Islamic regions, groups, individuals, and ideologies on the territory of the former Soviet Union and neighboring countries”. The website builds an archive by gathering, digitizing, translating a growing number of primary sources and to make them available to the public)
  • واژه‌باز / vājabāz – Musings on Persianate vocabulary (a very readable and enlightening blog about essential words and terms from the persianate world by Iskandar Ding)
  • 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)
16 February 2023
  • nuṣūṣ (Nuṣūṣ presents a corpus of digitized Arabic texts that are not contained in other corpora. It started as a collection of early Sufi and related texts, and now includes early works on kalām, falsafa, and Christian theology. It offers access to the text, search in the corpus, its metadata, and author biographies)
  • 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)
  • Beyond Sharia: The Role of Sufism in Shaping Islam (bases at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, the blog of this research programme “examines the emergence, flourishing and lasting appeal of non-conformist movements in Islamic intellectual history from the tenth century to the present day”. Its authors are also currently writing some very promising Phd theses)
  • Journal of Religious Minorities under Muslim Rule (hosted by Brill)
  • ČISTĀ – Studies in the History, Cultures and Religions of the Iranian World (Edited by Shervin Farridnejad and Touraj Daryaee)
  • Ancient Mediterranean Digital Project (based on the catalogue part of her dissertation, Tzveta Manolova is creating an “open-access database on ship representations of the Mediterranean basin broadly covering the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age periods”. She provides annotated commentary “that covers both the technical and contextual aspects of the objects”, her own drawings and photogrammetry models)
15 December 2022
  • 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)
  • Journal of Central Asian History (according to their self discription: “dedicated to the study of the history of Central Asia here understood as the landmass stretching from the Caspian Sea to the Gobi Desert, and from Siberia to northern Afghanistan”)
  • Encyclopedia of the [variant] readings of the Qur’an (an open access platform launched by Shady Hekmat Nasser for studying “the reception and transmission history of the Qurʾān”. It serves as critical apparatus of the Qur’an and “provides data on the variant readings recorded in the Arabic sources”. A tutorial video is available here. A thank you to Marijn van Putten for sharing these links on Twitter.)
  • موسسهٔ نیمروز – Nimruz Institute (a non-profit institution lead by academics dedicated to the history and mythology of (but not limited to) Iran, ancient languages, art and intellectual currents. News and updates are posted on their Twitter feed)
  • Journal of Safavid Studies (published by the Safavid Studies Center at the University of Isfahan)
8 December 2022
  • Women Poets Iranica (part of Encyclopædia Iranica, “Women Poets Iranica is an integrative encyclopedia of postclassical, modern, and contemporary women poets”. It features articles, bibliographies, a directory of scholars, as well as recordings of academic lectures on women poets and their works)
  • Heritage in West Asia (a trans- & inter-disciplinary research blog founded by Ali Mozaffari that brings together various projects to “examine the imaginations of the past in this region and the ways in which those imaginations are activated and used in reconceiving regional and sub-regional identities at various scales; identities that frequently transcend the geographies of nation-states”. The contributors to the project have received various bigger and smaller grants over the years and have published articles as well as books on a range of interconnected research topics)
  • Sadrian Philosophy (an erudite blog by Hasnain Naqvi about the depths of Sadrian philosophy and Islamic philosophy in a broader sense, offering a wealth of profound articles on many philosophical and literary details, from ontology, theology, psychology, imamology, epistemology to eschatology)
  • Hikmat (a sophisticated blog with in-depth thoughts on Islamic philosophy, literature, Shi’i Islam, Urdu, Persian, Iran and India)
  • Eranshahr (a collection of online projects on Iranian mythical, epic and historical figures that offers information on Iranian Shahs, mythical creatures from the Shahname, the Borzuname, Avesta, Bundaheshn, Arjhang, folk tales and oral history sources. Their open visual library provides image files to the website’s content)
  • Silkaravan (a real-time strategy, city building and trading game available for iOS and Android, in which you can experience 16th century Persia along the silkroad)
1 December 2022
  • New section added: Language Courses
  • Qalamos (offers metadata and digitized records of Oriental manuscript collections in Germany. It now contains about 135,000 manuscript records for more than 120,000 physical objects from Asian and African script traditions in more than 160 languages and 80 scripts. The project aims to provide as complete a record as possible of the Oriental holdings preserved in German institutions and their digital copies. First important steps for international cooperation have been undertaken: Qalamos also features collections from Indonesia, Yemen, Mauritania and Austria. The entire project is a collaboration of the IT-department of the University of Leipzig and the Oriental Department of the Staatsbibliothek of Berlin)
  • History of Islamic Tilework and Design (an information portal about the history, craft background, motifs and significance of Islamic tiles, their importance to Islamic architecture and their development in the modern era)
  • Jusur (German academic journal for Oriental, Arabic and Islamic Studies, founded by Yousief Sleiman at Bochum University)
  • Takhayyul (a subtly written cultural history blog with essays and Twitter threads that trace the literary and pictorial history of individual themes, such as the cypress, the garden, etc.)
  • 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)
24 July 2022
14 May 2022

6 May 2022
12 April 2022
  • Map Finder at the National Library of Scotland (a tool that offers various options for finding and viewing historic maps. The material is high resolution. A side by side viewer to compare maps in your browser as also available)
  • Persepolis Reimagined (a stunning 3D-model and beautiful tour of Taḫt-e Ǧamšīd hosted at The Getty, accompanied by an art index that offers introductory information on sculptures, vessels, weapons, jewelry, coins and seals from this historic monument)
  • 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)
  • OMNIA (search tools for the Europeana collections, offering an image wall, a map search for locating art and objects by their geographical location/provenance, and the selection of a time range for narrowing down your search to a specific window in time)
  • Quran and Early Islam (a highly recommendable and vast science blog by Mehdi Azaiez who offers a wealth of material and resources about methods and academic discourse, individual scholars and institions, relevant academic publications, bibliographies and more)
5 April 2022
22 March 2022
  • Rescribe (free and open source desktop tool for historic OCR on Mac, Linux and Windows)
  • 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)
  • MENALib: Digitisation of Historical Maps (The University and State Library Saxony-Anhalt is digitising nearly 1,000 historical maps and publishing them as Open Access material. In this handy MENALib overview the available maps are sorted by regions)
  • Ismaili Printed Materials Collection (growing collection of books at the Aga Khan Library that cover the three main phases of Ismaili history: the Fatimid period (909–1090), the Alamut period (1090–1256), and the post-Alamut period (1256–) including the present time)
  • Ottoman Collection (materials at the Aga Khan Library that cover the Tanzimat and span to the foundation of the Republic of Turkey and the raise of Atatürk)
  • Iranian Studies at Bamberg University (Telegram channel)
  • Refiled entry, now to be found in the “Blogs” section: Islamic Occult Studies on the Rise – IOSOTR (an academic blog that came into being after a nine-month international academic workshop organized by Matt Melvin-Koushki and Noah Gardiner)
  • CDLI: Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (this international group of Assyriologists, museum curators and historians of science tries to make the form and content of cuneiform inscriptions dating from the beginning of writing available online. CDLI has so far digitally catalogued more than 350,000 of the worldwide available 500,000 artifacts.)
  • 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)
  • Transcript Publishing: Open Access (overview of all Open Access books by Transcript Publishing, a well-known German publisher in the field of Humanities and Cultural Sciences)
  • Repertorium Saracenorum (the project lists around 3000 chronicles, annals and historical works from the early Middle Ages that describe the interaction of the Christian-Latin West with Muslims in the centuries that followed the Islamic expansion. The data collection includes 622 text passages from over 70 works, which were recorded in full text and, if available, with a translation and annotated with categories and keywords)
  • Cuneiform Studies in Iran (Telegram channel)
  • INALCO: Institut National de Langues et Civilisations Orientales
  • 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)
  • Vajje (search tool that allows looking up Persian words in many foreign language dictionaries)
  • Nový Orient (Czech language journal founded in 1945 and provides articles on Asian and African countries, their cultures, history and contemporary affairs)
4 March 2022
  • Yezidi Photo Archive (an online photo archive on Yezidi life and culture, aiming at the digital preservation of photographs from various foundations, archives, photographers and individuals)
  • Mondes iranien et indien (a research unit associated with the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the Sorbonne Nouvelle University, the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE), and the Institut National de Langues et Civilisations Orientales (Inalco))
  • The Hellenistic Age Podcast (“a history podcast that covers the period of Eurasian and North African History known as the Hellenistic Age, which roughly stretches from the death of Alexander the Great to the Battle of Actium (~336-30 B.C.)”, run by Derek)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • ANR Ctesiphon: Sigillographical corpus (a corpus of around 1,000 objects, seals and bullae relating to the history of the orient in the 6th century and the reign of Sasanian ruler Khusro I)
  • ANR Ctesiphon (a research project under the umbrella of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (the CNRS), aiming at the analysis and correlation of sources from the 6th century that are very diverse in terms of origin, type, language and field of study (e.g. sigillography, numismatics, information gleaned from bullae, Pahlavi epigraphy, literary documentation). The sources include texts in Syriac, Greek, Middle Persian and Persian. Their digital resources feature a coin database of nearly 2,700 coins, seals and bullae. A sigillographical corpus of around 1,000 objects and a coin database is available on their website)
  • Reconstruction of the 1341 Shahnama (in this brilliant effort to utilize Digital Humanities’ tools for manuscript studies, Alexander Brey put together scattered pages of the 1341 Shahname in a so-called IIIF manifest. It is based on the research of Marianna Shreve Simpson)
  • Mirador (Open-source, web based, multi-window image viewing platform with the ability to zoom, display, compare and annotate images from around the world)
12 February 2022
15 December 2021
2 December 2021
  • Lamha (a podcast by the Arab Image Foundation on photography, image practices, “at the intersection of artistic creation, research, and archiving”)
  • Attribution Generator (License information for images from Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons)
  • Semantic Scholar (search tool for scientific literature maintained by the Allen Institute for AI)
  • 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)
  • Collections from Colonial Contexts (a growing portal that makes digitised and indexed collections from colonial contexts available online within the existing portal of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (German Digital Library). Until now, data from 25 institutions were integrated and made searchable. By 2022 it will grow into an independant knowledge and research portal)
  • IxTheo (comprehensive bibliography for religious and theological studies)
  • KurdFlora (an alphabetically sorted botanical knowledge-base for the flora of Kurdistan with images and text on many native plant species. Please note: if the website is unavailable, the KurdFlora project can be found here)
  • 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)
  • Deutsches Zeitungsportal – German Newspaper Portal (a new full text repository by the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (German Digital Library), offering 247 downloadable newspapers spanning from 1671 to 1950. The collection so far uses data from 9 libraries, features 4.5 million pages and full text access is available for 84% of the material)
  • Dachverband der WANA-Wissenschaften (Student umbrella organization of West Asia & North Africa (WANA) studies in Germany)
  • Unpaywall (a free browser extension that gives access to over 30 million academic articles)
  • #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)
  • Open Access Button (a website and browser extension that searches for legally accessible journal articles by URL, DOI, PMID, PMC ID, title, or citation)
  • ʿArūż – Persian Prosody (online tool that performs quantitative analysis of Persian meter)
7 October 2021
27 September 2021
26 September 2021
6 August 2021
  • New main section added: Language skills
  • New sub section added: 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)
2 August 2021
  • Anthropology and Culture (extensive Iranian science blog that offers articles by many different authors from various fields from the Humanities. It was launched by eminent Iranian anthropologist Nasser Fakuhi and among others also has anthropologist Jabbar Rahmani on its editorial board)
29 July 2021
28 July 2021
  • Nomads’ Manuscript Landscape (a project at the Institute of Iranian Studies at the University of Vienna, which investigates literary evidence for transculturation in medieval Iran and Central Asia in the 13th-15th centuries)
22 June 2021
14 June 2021
31 May 2021
10 May 2021
9 May 2021
6 May 2021
  • New section added: Linguistic data and corpora
  • 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)
  • Peykaregān (collection of 85 Persian linguistic databases)
5 May 2021
3 May 2021