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Rare Iranian newspaper archive documents 1979 Revolution

01 Feb 2016

The University has launched a two year project to digitise Iranian newspapers charting the Western-backed 1953 coup d'état against Iran’s popularly supported government and the 1979 Revolution

Pro-Mossadeq demonstration

The archive, a world first, is a unique historical source chronicling these momentous events in such publications as Mardum-i Iran, Ayandegan and Tehran Mosavvar, some of the most influential and popular daily newspapers in Iran at the time.

The newspaper collection, currently housed in The University of Manchester Library, was captured using high quality scanners equipped with ultra-sonic, double feed detection, automated colour detection and image processing applications. The images were then formatted to a high quality and are accessible across all digital devices.

Nashriyah: Digital Iranian History, which was funded by the Library, forms the first steps in building a comprehensive digital archive chronicling these periods of modern Iranian history, events that have shaped Iran’s turbulent relations with the West and continue to resonate to this day.

Dr Siavush Randjbar-Daemi, a lecturer in Iranian history, said: “While major UK libraries have endeavored over the decades to build sizeable collections of Persian books the same attention has not been provided to newspapers and periodicals, which are the first drafts of history and essential for studying the political history of Iran.

“These key times in Iran’s history include the era prior to the coup d'etat against Mohammad Mossadegh of August 1953, and the run-up and period following the Revolution of 1979. 

“The project aims to start the effort to bridge this gap, by making available dozens of publications which are ordinarily not available, in hard-copy format or otherwise, from UK libraries.

“It seeks to build collaborations with other institutions, both in the UK and overseas that hold similar material, and consolidating availability for present and future generations of scholars.”