Tazkirah Database

One of my larger research goals is to contribute to our understanding of the role of anthologies of poets, or tazkirahs, in the development of the classical Persian literary tradition. (Tazkirahs are also referred to in English as “biographical dictionaries,” “compendia,” and “lives of the poets,” among other terms.) Scholarship on this rich category of texts has begun to advance considerably in recent years, building upon foundational work carried out in the second half of the twentieth century—largely published in Persian by Iranian philologists, foremost among them Ahmad Gulchin-i Ma‘ani.

I thought that it might be helpful, at least for my own purposes, to collect and organize information about those tazkirahs that were particularly influential in Persian literary history. Toward that end, I started to add data to a Google Spreadsheet. There are still many gaps, the number of works included so far is modest (around thirty), and the entire project is preliminary and somewhat experimental. Nevertheless, there may already be value in this small database of tazkirahs, organized chronologically, with the publication details of scholarly editions and certain other data listed. Click here to access the spreadsheet.

Better still, if you’d like to help me fill in the blanks and add more sources, please contact me directly.