Women's Worlds in Qajar Iran

Women's Worlds in Qajar Iran


A collection of family letters and the registries of Shaykh Baqir Najmabadi (13 volumes) and Shaykh Mahdi Najmabadi (15 volumes). The letters primarily concern testimonials and powers of attorney given to family members in order to deal with issues of inheritance and other property transactions involving women in the family. The complete registries of Shaykh Baqir Najmabadi and Shaykh Mahdi Najmabadi record vast numbers of transactions that concern inheritance disputes, often between sisters and brothers, as well as registered marriage contracts that include such details as itemized list of what the bride took to her matrimonial home. They constitute an invaluable source for socio-cultural history of the Najmabadi neighborhood in Tehran, Iran.

Collection Highlights

Collection Details

  • Acquisition Notes

    Digital facsimiles of the registries were provided by the Najmabadi family in Tehran and digitized in 2005 by the Center for Islamic Resources in Qum. Other source materials for the Najmabadi Collection were provided by Afsaneh Najmabadi in 2010.

  • History

    This collection spans several generations of the Najmabadi family. The letters were found in papers of ʻAbbas Najmabadi (1911-1986) in two envelopes (included in the collection), marked as belonging to the holder’s sister. They most likely belonged to his father (who is named in some of the documents), Shaykh Husayn Najmabadi (d. 1947), son of Shaykh Sadiq Najmabadi (1856-1935) and his first wife Zahra Yuna.

    Shaykh Baqir Najmabadi (1847 or 48-1928) is the son of Mulla Mahdi Najmabadi and his fourth wife Zahra Khanum. He was half-brother of Shaykh Hadi Najmabadi. The registers of Shaykh Baqir Najmabadi cover transactions from 18 March 1910 to 27 December 1931. Shaykh Mahdi Najmabadi (1867-1957) is the son of Shaykh Hadi Najmabadi and his first wife Galin Baji Rahguzar. His registers cover transactions from 1910 to 1956.

  • Dates 1906-1956
  • Last Edited 13 April 2019
  • Record Number 1014