he Specialized Library of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1932, a library was established in Central Building of the Ministry
In 1932, an exclusive library was set up in the main building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to meet the demands for additional studies in various fields of politics, law, economics and sociology for the staff in the Ministry and the associated organs. By opening the Institute for Political and International Studies, another library was established in the Institute to serve the researchers and the experts.
With the increasing expansion of broadcasting sciences on one hand and the essentiality that was there for the Ministry staff, the scholars, researchers and the university professors in political sciences and international relations to have access to the latest academic achievements, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to launch a specialized library fully equipped with modern IT technology with enough linkages either domestically or internationally so that in addition to maintaining the achievements made in the past, to also update its informative system. The specialized library of Foreign Ministry in the new form and spacious edifices was opened in the autumn of 1999. Senior officials in the Ministry in their foresight decided to make the library accessible to all university students, professors and the scholars of the country. Presently the specialized library of Foreign Ministry offers its services via the two compounds: one is Shahid Rajaie located in the Building No.8 which is the new generation of the defunct central library and the other one is the new compound located in the Research Division of the Ministry in Shahid Bahonar Ave.
The Library System:
The system of sorting the library sources is based on the LC ( Library of Congress) and the its subject scope are as follow: political sciences , international relations, law, history, geography religions, theology( a branch of law), Iranology, managements, public administration, economics, journalism, foreign languages and social sciences that are run with open sources and the users have easy access to the books.
The Specialized Library of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs offers the following services in its two library complexes:
This section deals with membership, book lending, returning the borrowed books and the extending the period for the borrowed books. It has to be mentioned that the book borrowing is possible for the Ministry staff from either of the two complexes.
The section for resource searching enables the users in addition to searching their references, from either domestic sites or the ones linked to global internet, to have access to latest updated books’ data and to print the located sources if they wish.
A- Specialized Library complex (Shahid Bahonar): Shahid Bahonar complex is active in two sections of current periodicals and archive. Members may have access to both current sources either dailies or other periodicals in ground floor or to go to -1 for the past editions or a particular source in the archives.
B- Current periodicals are as follow : Persian language 69 titles, Arabic language 15 titles , Latin languages 74 titles, Persian dailies 20 titles
Archive Section: This section comprises of several resources that are as follow:
1- Diplomats’ Promotion theses, which include 1100 titles that have been prepared by the diplomatic staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to get promotion in their ranks
2- Academic theses (in Persian) which include 1102 titles that have been prepared by the students of the School of International Relations at bachelor or master degrees
3- Academic theses (Latin Languages) which include 553 titles that have been prepared by Iranian students resident in other countries and the subjects are of relevance to Iran.
4- Periodicals: Persian and Arabic 1006 titles all together
5- Latin periodicals 1842 titles
6- Collection of treaties and official correspondence between Iranian Government and other countries
7- Debates in the Iranian Parliament prior to the revolution
8- Collection of the laws and regulations prior to the revolution
The Book Pools’ services
1- Persian Books’ Pool: Shahid Bahonar Complex containing 36863 books’ titles and Shahid Rajaie Complex containing 8816 books’ titles
2- Latin Pool: Shahid Bahonar Complex containing 33000 books’ titles and Shahid Rajaie Complex containing 6540 books’ titles
3- Reference Pools: Shahid Bahonar Complex containing8200 titles and Shahid Rajaie Complex containing 2500 titles of reference books
Shahid Bahonar Complex in tandem with dissemination of information in the areas of relevance to Iranian history, culture and arts and noting the location and the status of the complex and the number of Iranian and non- Iranian visitors, has allocated separate stacks to Iranology books in the reference section.
The Arabic Pool contains 12000 books published in the Arab countries
The audio-visual section (Shahid Bahonar Complex) which comprises of three collections:
1- Historical and documentary films that contain 1100 titles in DVD and VHS formats
2- Reference CDs comprising of dictionaries, encyclopedias, Iranology sources, educational and statistical 360 titles in Persian and 270 titles in English with some in French, German and Arabic
3- Audio and educational books comprising of the collection of video cassettes on literary masterpieces of the world and language teaching which contain around 250 audio tapes.
Manuscripts and stone-lithographic collection
The section of manuscripts and stone-lithographic books of the Specialized Library of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a rich treasury of hand-written books in Persian, Arabic and Turkish languages that have been collected in a long period. Among the manuscripts, there are some central Asian precious volumes as well. The stone – lithographic books are printed mainly in the famous printing houses in India, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt and Iran. Some of the valuable antique copies in this collection are as follow:
-“Baharestan” the famous book by “Jami” dated 10th century lunar hijri calendar
-“Menhajul Mohhadithin” dated 694th century lunar hijri calendar
The oldest central Asian manuscript is dated 896th century, which is a commentary on the book titled “Sharhe Kalematul ‘Ain”.
Almost 90% of the manuscripts and stone-lithographic books have been listed on the relevant catalogues and their particulars have digitalized in the special software of the library. The catalogue of stone-lithographic books was printed in one volume by the Publications Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was made available to the interested individuals.
The Library’s Journal
Since the commencement of the Specialized Library of the most important tasks of this center was to disseminate information in a shortest possible time. To realize this objective the quarterly of the library stared printing in 2001. By the passage of time and the imperative to reduce costs and to expedite the process on one hand, and the increase in the volume of the data on the other hand, in 2006 a monthly periodical replaced the quarterly and by using the available facilities, it was digitalized as well. This digitalized monthly, whose main task is to make available to the interested individuals the synopses of the latest sources received by the library in Persian, Latin and Arabic languages, has been welcomed by the scientific forums in the country. The new edition and archive digital editions are accessible via the library’s internet site. This option is also available for the users to receive the electronic monthly via email provided that they have to apply for the membership in the digital library.
The special status of Lankamer’s Books
Friedrich Lankamer was born in 1930 in Berlin from a German father and an Iranian mother, a native Armenian from Julfa a neighborhood of Isfahan. He came to Iran accompanying his father and settled here. He went to France to continue education and later he learned the skills of bookbinding from his father in Iran. Lankamer made bookbinding for the big libraries in Iran such as : Iranian National Library, Library of the Late Ayatollah Marashi Najafi , the Library of Parliament, Central Library of Tehran University ..etc. He was doing this job for 22 years in the School of Law in Tehran University. The collection of his artistic bookbinding in his personal library that contained 1559 titles in Persian, English, French, German …etc, is the result of his 60 years continued work and are highly valuable because of the physical shape, choice of the color, decoration , choice of the letters and of course the contents. Lankamer in his exclusive library has collected variety of books in Iranian history, literature and art as well as Iranology. Some of the volumes are among the rare and old editions. This unique collection includes some of the books donated to him by Iranian famous scholars and writers such Mojtaba Mainavi, Iraj Afshar ..etc.
This precious collection was purchased in 2000 by the Specialized Library of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and now is preserved in a special stack, which decorates the library. Lankamer’s collection is full of the elegance and the fine artisanship of traditional Islamic bookbinders on one hand and the renowned Western bookbinders on the other hand and is considered as a golden page in the contemporary history of Iranian bookbinding.