The Iranian Oral History Project was launched at Harvard's Center for Middle Eastern Studies in the fall of 1981 and continues to provide scholars studying the contemporary political history of Iran with primary source material consisting of personal accounts of individuals who either played major roles in important political events and decisions from the 1920s to the 1970s or witnessed these events from close range.
The project has recorded the memoirs of 134 individuals, comprising approximately 900 hours of tape and 18,000 pages of transcript at a cost of over $800,000. The project has been generously funded by a large number of supporters including the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Ford Foundation.
The collection embodies the most comprehensive chronicle of eye-witness reports of modern Iran by some of the key figures who defined her history. Microfiche of the collection has been purchased by libraries of major universities in Canada, England, Germany, France, and the United States.