In December 2005, the collections of the Centre for Iranian Documentation and Research (CIDR) in Paris were moved to the IISH. The CIDR collections are essential for research on the history of the Islamic and Left movement in Iran as well as for research on the Nationalist Movement since the Constitutional Revolution of 1906.
The Centre for Iranian Documentation and Research (CIDR) was established in France on 8 March 1986 as an independent, non-profit cultural organization. This was the outcome of two years of reflection, debate and preparation on how to launch a politically independent research centre capable of responding to the needs of those interested in Iran. In view of the growing need of incoming Iranian migrants and the general interest generated by the events in Iran among Western researchers, CIDR concerned itself with the acquisition and access of documents, pamphlets, manifestos, periodicals, newspapers and books on contemporary Iranian social history. The main focus of these collections was on the post-1960 period.
As the Centre opened its small library and archives to the public in October 1986, it became a viable source of information and advice to students, academics and researchers, not only in France but also internationally. The interest generated by the activity of the CIDR among the Iranian community gave momentum to donations of private archives, collections and libraries. The running costs of the Centre were financed through personal donations and voluntary membership fees. The founders of the CIDR were Amir Houshang Keshavarz, Shahram Ghanbari and Ali Rahnema.
The CIDR's collection can be classified into eight major categories:
- Political tracts, manuscripts and samizdat, pamphlets and manifestos (published as well as unpublished) by individuals or political organizations covering a wide spectrum of political organizations active before, during and after the Iranian revolution of 1979. This collection includes material published inside and outside Iran.
- Newspapers and periodicals published in Iran with an emphasis on publications belonging to political organizations and parties which blossomed during the revolution. This collection represents the variety of political and ideological currents that existed at the time.
- Iranian newspapers and periodicals published overseas after the revolution. These are opposition newspapers and reflect the order of exclusion of political persuasions from the Iranian political scene after the revolution.
- Excerpts and selected articles of the Western press on the Iranian revolution.
- Surveys and monographs pertaining to Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi's period, covering peasant societies, tribal societies and slum-dwellers. These monographs were researched and written by Iranian social scientists and scholars before the revolution and were of limited issues.
- Economic statistics, indicators, surveys and development plans dating from 1953.
- A selected number of books on the general theme of social and intellectual history of Iran.
- Slides, cassettes and posters, relating to the revolutionary and post-revolutionary period.
Text: Touraj Atabaki