Collections and Resources, Gifts and Grants, Special Collections

Persian Culture Collections Receive New Endowment


Architectural detail from Persepolis, in Fars (Pars) province

A $25,000 donation has doubled the Library’s endowment for Persian studies and will help to build collections that support this rapidly growing area of research and teaching at UNC.

An anonymous donor has established the Pars Endowment for Persian Study. Funds from the endowment will help the Library acquire Persian studies materials such as books, journals, and electronic resources. The endowment will also provide appropriate technology to ensure access to specialized materials.

Pars is the historical name for one of Iran’s 31 provinces. Pars, now known as Fars, was the birthplace of the Persian Empire and its founder, Cyrus the Great (born ca. 600 BCE). The donor wished to honor the ancient history of what is now Iran, and particularly the people of the donor’s home county of Dashtestan in Fars province, said Mohamed Hamed, Middle East and African Studies Librarian.

“Helping the UNC Library grow its Persian studies collections is a remarkable tribute,” said Hamed.  “It is part of a groundswell of community support from the local Persian community that is helping us build outstanding collections in this area.”


Plaque commemorating the Pars Endowment for Persian Study

Persian language has been taught at UNC since 2000 in the Department of Asian Studies. A growing number of UNC faculty members and graduate students use Persian in their research and as they prepare for careers in many domains.

In addition to endowment funding, the Library seeks donations of books and cash gifts to support Persian studies. Hamed maintains a wish list of the most urgently needed items.

For more information about the Library’s Persian collection and ways to support it, contact Hamed at, (919) 843-3859, or Emily Silverman, Associate Director of Library Development, at, (919) 962-3437. Information about the Persian Studies program at UNC is available at

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