2014-09-30

Introduction

A Glimpse at the Organization of Libraries, Museums and Center of Deeds of Astan Quds Razavi "Magnificent Treasure of Written Culture in Iran and the World of Islam" The Organization of Libraries, Museums and Center of Deeds of Astan Quds Razavi [the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.), the Eighth Immaculate Imam of the Shia Muslims in the world] situated in the Holy City of Mashhad comprises a network of libraries, museums and a deed center is considered as one of the most important and leading treasures of the written culture in Iran and the World of Islam. The library of the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.) which was opened to the public use in 1457 A.D. is now considered as one of the largest and the most magnificent library in Iran and the Islamic world. The Central Library is situated within the vicinity of the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.) and every year more than 25 million lovers and followers of Imam Reza (A.S.) and the Holy Ahlul Bayt (A.S.) from Iran and throughout the world visit the holy shrine to perform the Ziyarah (pilgrimage) of Imam Reza (A.S.). More than three million inhabitants of the Holy City of Mashhad, the second largest city of the Islamic Republic of Iran are also the regular visitors of the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.). There is no information about the exact date of the establishment of the library of Astan Quds Razavi. Some consider the endowment date as 974 AD for the oldest manuscript copy of the Holy Quran endowed to the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (AS) by a person called Ali Ibn Simjour, as the year in which the historical library of Astan Quds Razavi was established. As per the old historical documents preserved in Astan Quds Razavi the library was opened to the public use in 1457 A.D. In 1729 A.D, a special place was allocated for the library building but serious efforts were made to expand the library in the early period of 20th century. However a continuous increase in utilizing the library by the researchers and scholars resulted in the faster development and growth of this historical library. Although the location of the library building have changed many times since 1457 but it has always remained within the vicinity of the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.). The construction of the present magnificent building of the Central Library started in 1981 was accomplished in 1993, with a constructed area of 28800 square meters and was opened to the public in April, 1994. Some of the outstanding features of this massive complex are as follows: 1: It is adjoined and belongs to the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.). 2: Preserving very old and rare manuscripts, artifacts and museum objects and some of them date back to more than one thousand years ago. 3: Preserving thousands of exquisite and precious manuscripts of the Holy Quran, rare manuscripts and old printed books. 4: Possessing a vast collection of printed books in different fields of study including Islamic studies and humanities. 5: The glorious and magnificent building of the Central Library is unique and exclusive in Islamic art throughout the world. 6: Accomplished with sophisticated facilities and modern equipment for improving and upgrading the services offered to the people, and also preserving the deeds, manuscripts and precious sources of the library. 7: Holding rich collection of historical deeds and some of them date back to 15th century and rare periodicals published in Iran since 1846. 8: Administering 12 grand specialized museums located in the vicinity of the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.).These museums are now considered as largest and widely viewed museums in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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