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21/01/2019 - Event
Summer School

Working in an Indian Archive: Indo-Persian records from Hyderabad

Call for applications

Summer School:

"Working in an Indian Archive: Indo-Persian records from Hyderabad"

Hyderabad, India, 19/8/2019 - 30/8/2019

The Department of Iranian Studies at the University of Göttingen, the Maulana Azad University National Urdu University in Hyderabad and Prof. Chander Shekhar (Lal Bahadur Shastri Centre, Taschkent) organise together a summer school devoted to reading and analysing Indo-Persian records.

Indo-Persian documentary sources are available in vast quantities in Indian archives and provide unique information on economic, social, political and religious issues of the Subcontinent. They still remain poorly understudied and are much less taken into consideration than narrative sources like especially historiographies and chronicles. We observe that working on archival material in India poses specific challenges to young researchers, because the reading and deciphering of these documents present many problems difficult to solve on one’s own, especially when they are written in Shekasta. The archival situation in India is also not always so promising, with many collections still uncatalogued and difficult to access.

Our goal is to encourage researchers in tackling these challenges by working together in several archives of Hyderabad. The most prominent of these archives are the Telangana State Archives which have a unique collection of records from Mughal times, especially from the time of Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb, with more than 150.000 records going back to this period. But some private collections are also situated in Hyderabad.

During the two-week program we will have teaching courses in MANUU as well as in different archives. A special focus is given to working with original records. After an initial stage during which we will introduce the participants to deciphering Nastaliq and Shekasta and to dealing with original material, we will turn to reading and analysing different types of documents from various periods, and will visit different archives in Hyderabad to work on their records. Some of the teaching units will be organized as group work. Although the course is to some extent a follow-up course of the summerschool which took place in 2018 in Göttingen, we do not expect participants to be fluent in reading records. New-comers with no knowledge of reading Nastaliq and Shekasta and with no experience in working on records are therefore welcome to join.


The workshop consists of teaching units as well as courses hold in archives. Teaching will be done for about 4-5 hrs/day. Afternoons will mostly be reserved for homework and exercises. When working in the archives, the time schedule might change according to the opening times of the archives.


The course fee is 200 € for participants from Europe and the US, and 4.000 Rupies for Students from India. The reduced rate applies only for Indians living in India, and not for Indians from abroad.


Accomodation will take place in the guesthouse of Maulana Azad University, Hyderabad. The rooms are double-rooms liberally offered to us by MANUU without charge.

The food charges per day will be Rs.250/- for vegetarian food and Rs.350/- for Non-Vegetarian food. These subsidised  charges include breakfast,lunch,evening tea and dinner. One opting for Non-Veg can also take Veg but not vice versa.


Transportation from MANUU to the archives will be by Metro or by bus, riksha, taxi etc., depending on the place. The price for transportation is not included in the fee.


We accept PhD and postdoc students as well as MA students with a good knowledge of Persian. They should be familiar with pre-modern Persian, too.

The language of instruction will be English, fluency in English is therefore also required.


In order to be considered, the applications must include:

A curriculum vitae, mentioning language skills

Proof of proficiency in Persian

A letter of motivation

The number of participants is limited to 25.


The applications must be submitted before February 15th  2019. The result of the application will be announced until the end of February.

The summer school will take place from August 19th to August 30th 2019. Arrival day in Hyderabad is August 18th, departure if foreseen for the afternoon of August 30th earliest.


Location and info


The summerschool will take place in Hyderabad, Deccan.

Contact:Ali Balaei-Langroudi: