Roshan Initiative in Persian Digital Humanities (PersDig@UMD) of the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland
  Artist: Rashin Kheiriyeh

About PersDig@UMD

The Roshan Initiative in Persian Digital Humanities at the University of Maryland (PersDig@UMD) is a global leader in the field of Persian digital humanities. We currently are developing three projects: the Persian Digital Library (PDL) (part of the multi-institutional Open Islamicate Texts Initiative), the Persian Manuscript Initiative (PMI), and The Digital Guide to Theatre of the Middle East: 21st Century Volume ( DGTOME).

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Persian Digital Library (PDL) and the Open Islamicate Texts Initiative (OpenITI)

The Persian Digital Library (PDL) project and the multi-institutional Open Islamicate Texts Initiative (OpenITI), of which it is a part, is building digital resources for the study of the premodern Persian world. Currently our work is primarily focused on the construction of a scholarly-verified and machine actionable corpus and optical character recognition (OCR)/handwritten text recognition (HTR) tools for Persian (and other Arabic-script languages). This work has generously been funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Please see the PDL and OpenITI websites for more information.


Persian Manuscript Initiative (PMI)

The Persian Mancuscript Initiative

The Persian Manuscript Initiative (PMI) partners with leading libraries and archives around the world to digitally preserve Persian manuscripts and improve the quality of metadata we have for them. PMI is focused especially on preserving Persian manuscripts that may be at a risk of loss. In partnership with the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (HMML) and local partners we have initiated projects in the Raja of Mahmudabad Palace Library (Lucknow, India) and the Anjuman-i Taraqqi-i Urdu (Karachi, Pakistan). Please see the PMI website for more details on all of these projects.


cat wearing google glasses

The Digital Guide to Theatre of the Middle East: 21st Century Volume ( DGTOME)

Digital Guide to Middle East Theater

The Digital Guide to Theatre of the Middle East: 21st Century Volume (DGTOME) provides essential information on the most significant, influential, and relevant plays/performances written and/or performed in MENA theatres and their diasporas since 2000. The goal is to recognize and display the breadth and diversity of theatrical visions, creations, and collaborations of the MENA theatre artists to the members of the world academia and theatre community in an accessible and sustained form. As the first and only searchable database in the field of MENA theatre, DGTOME is designed for a variety of users, including educators, students, researchers, practitioners, translators, and the general public.

PersDig@UMD Team

Our Team at UMD

  • Fatemeh Keshavarz

    Senior Advisor to PersDig@UMD

    Director, School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
    Director, Roshan Institute for Persian Studies
    Roshan Institute Chair in Persian Studies

  • Ahmet T. Karamustafa

    Senior Advisor to PersDig@UMD

    Professor of History, Roshan Institute for Persian Studies

    • Matt Miller

      Matthew Thomas Miller

      Director and Principal Investigator of PersDig@UMD

      Assistant Professor of Persian Literature & Digital Humanities, Roshan Institute for Persian Studies

    • Marjan Moosavi

      Principal Investigator DGTOME Project

      Lecturer of Persian Studies and Performing Arts, Roshan Institute for Persian Studies

    • Mehdy Sedaghat Payam

      Graduate Research Assistant

      Roshan Institute for Persian Studies

Advisory Board Members

  • Wali Ahmadi

    Associate Professor of Persian Literature
    University of California, Berkeley

  • Devin Deweese

    Professor, Central Eurasian Studies
    Adjunct Professor, Religious Studies
    Indiana University, Bloomington

  • Asghar Seyed Gohrab

    Senior Lecturer at Leiden University

  • Christiane Gruber

    Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at University of Michigan

  • Matthew Kirschenbaum

    Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Maryland and Associate Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities

  • Paul Losensky

    Associate Professor, Central Eurasian Studies
    Associate Professor, Comparative Literature
    Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University Bloomington

  • Farzaneh Milani

    Raymond J. Nelson Professor and Chair of the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures and former Director of Studies in Women and Gender at the University of Virginia

  • Elias Muhanna

    Manning Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature, Brown University

  • Roopika Risam

    Assistant professor of English and Secondary English Education at Salem State University

  • Omid Safi

    Director, Duke Islamic Studies Center
    Professor, Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Duke University, Durham, NC

  • Sunil Sharma

    Chair, Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature at Boston University
    Associate Professor of Persianate and Comparative Literature

  • Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi

    Professor of History and Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto and the Chair of the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Toronto-Mississauga.

  • Carl W. Ernst

    William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill