The EPHE’s Shiite Archive, unique in France and the second most important fonds of Shiite sources in Europe, just behind the University of Cologne’s Oriental Department collection – which it complements – is a fundamental source for studying Iranian Islamic philosophy and Shiite esotericism.
The Shiite Archive housed in the École Pratique des Hautes Études’ Religious Sciences Library (1,214 volumes) comprises two collections that form a system:
- the “Fonds Henry Corbin” (bequeathed to the EPHE in 1979 with 1,057 volumes), which comprises the Shiite sources collected by the renowned Orientalist [1903-1978]. It is a series of Arabic and Persian works derived from the two major branches of Shia Islam (Imamiyyah and Isma'ilism), mainly in the fields of theology, philosophy, the Qur’anic exegesis and mysticism. It comprises many ancient lithographic editions (second half of the 19th century), no longer obtainable, even in Iran.
- the “Fonds Shaykhî” (157 volumes), created between 1974 and 1979, also on Henry Corbin’s initiative, features the works of the masters of the Shaykhiyya order of Iran (Imamite theology and mysticism). They are facsimile editions of autograph manuscripts, produced by the Kerman printing works in Iran.
Shaykh Ahmad Ahsâ’î, Sharh al-fawâ’id, lithog., s.l., 1274h/1857 (EPHE- Fonds Henry Corbin).