Arbab Mehraban Poulad’s Archive

The archival material includes 11 Avestan manuscripts (five Videvdāds, four Yasnās, one Vajyašt Gahanbār with Doruns and one Xorde Avesta), with a total of more than 8000 pages and more than 15,000 of dated historical, economic, and legal documents regarding the religious minority of Zoroastrians in Iran. The historical documents include communications in the form of letters between Arbāb Mehrabān Pulād and official institutions, and administrative circulars. Most of the documents are bookkeeping record books, legal contracts dealing with sales, leases, settlement of disputes, letters, and official actions. They provide us with relevant information about the structure and work flow of various institutions and organizations during the Qajar and Pahlavi periods in Iran. Two Videvdād manuscripts of this collection are of particular significance for Avestan studies. One of them seems to be the oldest discovered Videvdād until today, while another one is the only illuminated manuscript from the Marzbān family, a famous scribe family of Avestan manuscripts.

Custodial history: This collection was found in February 2016 in a Zoroastrian house in the Priests' Quarter [Maḥalle-ye dastūrān] in Yazd in Iran. Arabab Mehraban Poulad, a famous Zoroastrian merchant from a priest family, had accumulated and archived his own documents and avestan manuscripts as well as the documents of his father and grandfather over the course of his lifetime. This collection belongs now to his grandchilad Mehran Pouladi.

Extent and format of original material: Collection level 1.

Owner(s) of original material: Mehraban Pouladi.

Custodial history: This collection of documents belongs to Arbab Mehraban Poulad, who had accumulated and archived his own documents as well as the documents of his father and grandfather over the course of his lifetime. His grandson Mehraban Pouladi is the owner of this collection.

Arrangement: The depositor of this collection, Saloumeh Gholami is responsible for the arrangement. The material has been ordered by topic.