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The Centre for the Great Islamic Encyclopaedia
(A Center for Islamic and Iranian Studies)
A scientific-research institution, the center for the great Islamic Encyclopedia was founded in march 1983 on the purpose of editing and publishing general. Technical encyclopedia as well as refrence books in various aspects and fields of humanistic loves especially Islamic and Iranian culture and civilisation. In order to realise such an aim, it seemed indispensable to establish a congruous scientific organisation enjoying high potentialities. Thus, Mr. Kazem mousavi Bojnourdi, the founder and organiser of the center, invited a number of outstanding Iranian scholars and researchers to cooperate. The earlier core of this scientific organisation, considering methods of Compiling encyclopedia, endeavored to find ways to reach the targets and to prepare and carry out a scientific plan; therefore, compiling great Islamic Encyclopedia was the first agenda. Practically, the plan started in the mid-1984. Although. There were a lot of problems at first due to collecting research tools especially setting up a rich library containing original and valid resources about Islamic, Iranian culture and history, the center scientific organisation, gradually, while establishing and expanding a library, extended too, by inviting well-known scholars as well as young researches. At present. Over 300 scholars, writers and researchers are cooperating continuously and dependently with different Projects. 700,000 volumes of books and periodicals have been collected in the center library regarding all fields of Islamic history and culture so as to convert it to the greatest professional library in the country. Of course, there is a digital library in access to the writer including tens of thousands of titles in full text on the center intranet, which is available for the others except the centre researchers A connection between the CGIE and International computer Networks has created a continual scientific relation between the centre and other research institutes and great libraries all over the Word which hasin result enriched the centre library more than ever. During the years, the centre library and Documents organisation has endeavord to collect and books of high value so that Islamic and Iranian Heritage Treasures should be preserved as well as possible in those special reservoirs designed for this purpose. For instance, the oldest and complete version of Hakim Abolghasem Ferdowsi s shahnameh is safekept in the manuscript depository. This precious version was written in 7th Century Hijri along with its notestanding hand writing and gilding. Which contains a complete copy of khamseye Nezami in its margin. This one-thousand page shahname in limited copies is accessible to the public in form of Facsimile with two different bindings.
The Centre scientific High council includes 46 department heads, scientific advisors as well as editors, who have a direct supervision on all scientific activities. The council meets monthly to determine general policies regarding all papers, the regulations of which are indispensable to act for all writers. The procedure for all compiling encyclopedias is all follows: a list of entries is extracted by members of each title by referring to encyclopedias, dictionaries and other authentic resources to be transferred to the scientific departments for editions and comments. Each head and member of departments reviews their own entries. After deletion. Addition, refining and confirmation, they are sent back to the title department. The title are written in the entries list after being confirmed by The head-editor and then scientific file is opened for each title. The files opened in this ways, are sent to the scientific department in separate subjects. According to their knowledge and recognition, The head of departments have these entries and scientific files papers compiled by the researches in as well as those out of the centre. The advantage of a scientific file is to save compilors time and there is no need for them to attend the centre for long; therefore, an order can be given to those out of Tehran or Iran and a large number of researchers can be working as well. After the compilation, dependent researchers, in studying department, compare and contrast the paper referrances to the used resourses. After that, in case there is a mistake. A report to rectify is sent to the writer. After the revision of the paper by the writer, the head and editors of the department start editing the article scientifically, and finally the article is re-studied and reviewed for a final edition in print and edition department for technical and principles of encyclopedia compilation and is then ready to print. In each stage of the mentioned procedure, the head – editor is to confirm the articles. The final confirmation of the head-editor is the print permission of the articles.
Those entries predicted for the Great Islamic Encyclopedia contain all major and minor fields of Islamic culture and civilisation, such as Quranology, jurisprudence, tradition, social and political history historical and humanistic geography, Islam and Islamic sects including religious sects and rhytoric schools. Philosophy and mysticism, language and literature of Islamic lands, natural and mathematic history. art and architecture in Islamic lands. anthropology. also aspects of native and ethnic cultures of muslem nations. This variety in subjects and entries of the Great Islamic Encyclopedia shows its advantage over other similar encyclopedias which pay more attention to some Islamic civilisation subjects from one hand, it seeks the deeper and more expanding attempts to reach significant details and points in this culture and civilisation which have been overlooked, from the other. Hence, the Encyclopedia researchers have chosen the authentic. Old and original resources arisen from the heart and context of muslem nations and Islamic civilisation. Of course, it doesn’t mean that newer resources and latest researches have been overlooked. But they attempt neutrally to extract different elements of Islamic political, social, scientific, literal and artistic history but with a rather scientific view from the genuine resources to present in a from of solid articles. Therefore. There are some entries and subject brought up un the Encyclopedia which have been searched about for the first time.