The Encyclopædia Iranica is a comprehensive research tool dedicated to the study of Iranian civilization in the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent.
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Columbia University in the City of New York holds a long and distinguished tradition of Iranian Studies, which was inaugurated in 1895 with the appointment of A. V. Williams Jackson as the University’s first professor of Indo-Iranian languages. In the early 1970s Ehsan Yarshater, then Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies, continued this tradition when he initiated the project of the "Encyclopædia Iranica" as a comprehensive Iranian Studies reference work. Professor Yarshater’s objective was to provide specialists on Iran with a platform for the publication of research outside highly specialized journals, while giving scholars in related fields, as well as the general public, access to knowledge about the Iranian civilization.