Cataloguing and Digitisation of the Ali-Reza Rahbar Collection

The project

Teile der Gelehrtensammlung Ali-Reza Rahbar, Bonn 2018

Parts of the Ali-Reza Rahbar Scholar Collection, Bonn 2018

In addition to the Specialised Information Service Middle East, the University and State Library of Saxony-Anhalt (ULB) is in charge of another project for the supply of academic literature from which Iranian studies in particular can benefit throughout Germany.

Funded by the DFG, the ULB is taking care of the indexing and digitisation of the extensive private library of the Iranian-born scientist Ali-Reza Rahbar. Within the framework of a donation, approx. 4,500 Persian monographs and approx. 80 Persian journals were transferred to the library’s holdings in Halle.

These valuable sources for research into the cultural and religious history of modern Iran will be made accessible for academic use until 2022.

Project description by the ULB Saxony-Anhalt

Project at the DFG

Value added for research worldwide

An added value for research worldwide is the digitisation of the copyright-free parts of the collection. These are to be made available via Share_it / MENAdoc in open access.

Cataloguing is carried out with indexing according to RDA rules and, in addition to the transcribed information on persons, title and publisher, also includes information in the original language (Persian). In the process, DNB standard data is edited, supplemented or newly created. This mainly concerned authors and/or politicians of Iranian origin. However, geographical names, Persian-Muslim dynasties or dervish orders were also specified.

Status 2021

After one year of the project, the team at the ULB in Halle can already draw a positive provisional balance: Approximately 40% of the monographs and over 67% of the journals from Rahbar’s collection are now listed in the online catalogue of the Saxony-Anhalt University and State Library.

Status 2023

A total of 3,728 titles have been included in K10plus at the ULB Saxony-Anhalt as part of the DFG-funded project “Indexing and Digitisation of the Ali-Reza Rahbar Collection”. Of these, 56 were journal titles and the rest are dominated by monographs. Only less than 20% of the monographs contained duplicates, which were eliminated.

More than 72% of the monographs catalogued in the project had never been catalogued in K10plus before. This corresponds to 2,687 volumes out of a total of 3,672 titles (excluding journals and duplicates).

These can be accessed with MENAsearch on the following page:

To MENAsearch

The monographs predominantly cover the following topics from the FID acquisition profile:
“Iranian History and Politics”, “Iranian Literary Studies”, “New Persian Literature”, “Islamic Philosophy”, “Islamic Faiths”, “Islamic History”, “Islamic Mysticism” and “New Persian Language”.

It contains more than 200 (auto)biographies and accounts of historically significant Iranian personalities, which deal primarily with the last Iranian dynasties of Pahlavi and Kajars, and are thus of great professional relevance for Iranian studies. More than 160 monographs in the collection deal with ancient Iranian religions such as Zoroastrianism. In addition, the collection contains approximately 70 Persian dictionaries and other reference works that have long been out of print and whose importance for Iranian literary research is estimated to be very high.

Within the framework of the project, more than 2,000 standard records were newly created or supplemented and/or corrected at the ULB Saxony-Anhalt. Most of these were Iranian authors, especially from the 20th century, and/or historical figures from Iran (approx. 92%), Afghanistan (approx. 5%) and Kurdish regions of Iran (approx. 1%), as well as records for Iranian geographical names, Persian Muslim dynasties, important Iranian historical events and Iranian dervish orders.

You can use MENAsearch to search within the Rahbar digital collection:

Zu MENAsearch