The History of Children’s Literature in Iran (HCLI) is a research project undertaken by the Foundation for Research on the History of Children’s Literature in Iran. Started in 1997, the project will be spread over 10 volumes. Volumes 1 to 7 have already been published and work continues on the remaining volumes.
The HCLI project includes such issues as: the appearance of culture and literature in Iran; the formation of oral literature and its components, followed by the appearance of children’s literature in ancient times; after Islam, in the early part of the 20th century, and its development up to the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
HCLI will analyze the concept of childhood, educational ideas and the literature of each period under consideration. Also the broader socio-economic and cultural situations will be reviewed in light of historical developments. Sample text illustrations from the different periods will complete the discussions and provide a unique anthology.
Some of the questions to be answered by the HCLI are as follows: When did Iranian society start considering children as different from adults; how have thinkers defined the child and its special needs; when did children’s literature begin; and in which historical period were the first books produced. These and many other questions will be raised and discussed in light of existing historical documents.
Research in pre-Islamic and Islamic works, makes it clear that there are very few texts addressed directly to children. However, many passages can be found in the general literary works that are written for children and are clearly addressed to the young reader. This has been discussed extensively in volumes1 and 2 of the HCLI.
The turning point occurs in the late 19th century and early 20th century, when such new factors enter the scene: new educational concepts, continuity of oral literature and folklore, development of a more simple Persian prose, the advent of translations from the West, the start of the printing industry in Iran, establishment of new schools, the study of child psychology, and the rise of pioneer personalities as early publishers of books for children.
As an extensive research project, the HCLI will also review the children’s literature of Iran’s minorities such as the Azaris, the Kurds, Zoroastrians, Christians and Jews.
The HCLI will contain the following volumes:
The beginning of history in Iran and oral literature and children’s literature in the pre-Islamic period.Bibliography:Oral tradition and Ancient Times, By Mohammad H. Mohammadi & Zohreh Ghaeni.Tehran: The Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature in Iran, and Cheesta Publishing Co, 2001,pp 243, ill.ISBN 964-92715-0-3
Comprising more than 1,000 years, from the advent of Islam in Iran, 7th century A.D. to the Constitutional Revolution in 1906. Bibliography:Islamic Period.By Mohammad H. Mohammadi & Zohreh Ghaeni.Tehran: The Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature in Iran, and Cheesta Publishing Co, 2001, pp 243, ill.ISBN 964-92715-1-1
Volumes 3 & 4:
The formation of new educational concepts during the time of the Constitutional Revolution, critical study of early school texts and the study of the early works with educational, didactic, and prescriptive content.Bibliography:Constitutional Era.By Mohammad H. Mohammadi & Zohreh Ghaeni.Tehran: The Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature in Iran, and Cheesta Publishing Co, 2002, pp 452 and 456, ill.ISBN 964-92715-1-1
Volumes 5, 6, 7:
The development of modern children’s literature and the contributions of pioneers such as Jabbar Baghcheban, Abbas Yamin Sharif and others.Bibliography: Modern Era. By Mohammad H.Mohammadi & Zohreh Ghaeni.Tehran: The Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature in Iran, and Cheesta Publishing Co, 2003 and 2004, pp 427, 879 and 1299pp., ill. ISBN 964-92715 -4-6, 964-92715-5-6 , 964-92715-6-2.
The Establishment of the first institutions for children’s literature. The Qualitative and quantitative expansion of children’s books from 1961 to the beginning of the Islamic revolution 1979.