MIHAN, the Manchester Iranian History Academic Network, was launched in late 2012 by two University of Manchester historians of Iran, namely Drs Oliver Bast and Siavush Randjbar-Daemi.
MIHAN aims to showcase, consolidate, and develop further the considerable expertise in the field of Iranian history, especially Modern and Contemporary history, that has been growing at the University of Manchester ever since the late nineteenth century when the renowned Iranist Louis Charles Casartelli, who also served as Roman Catholic Bishop of Salford between 1903 and 1925, established Iranian Studies at Manchester, thus laying the foundations for Manchester’s present vibrant and multifaceted Middle Eastern Studies department, which covers not only Iran and the Persianate World but also Turkish, Israel, the whole of the Arab World, as well as the Ancient Near East.
MIHAN also maintains close links with other Iran scholars at the University of Manchester, such as the renowned Iranist and Rumi-translator Alan Williams as well as the distinguished linguists John Payne and Siavash Rafiee-Rad.
MIHAN is able to rely on the excellent resources of Manchester's university library, which has major holdings on the Modern and Contemporary history of Iran, including a significant and continuously rising stock of resources in Persian, such as Iranian books, journals and magazines. Particularly noteworthy are the holdings of twentieth century Iranian newspapers, including many extremely rare ones, which have been finding their way to Manchester thanks to the great efforts of Dr Randjbar-Daemi. At the John Rylands Library, the University of Manchester also holds one of the UK's finest collections of medieval Persian manuscripts, some of them magnificently illuminated.