Established in March 1983, the Center for the Great Islamic Encyclopedia (CGIE) is a scientific and research institute for compiling and publishing general and special encyclopedias about all aspects and dimensions of human culture and civilization, specially Islamic and Iranian culture and civilization. In order to set up this center, it was necessary to identify all possible ways and to create an integrated scientific institute with excellent scientific and research capability. Thus, some of the most prominent and well-known Iranian scholars and researchers invited and CGIE described its motivations, positions, and aims and asked them for close cooperation and collaboration. The first core of the scientific institute that was established based on this policy, reviewed methods of encyclopedia authorship and provided and implemented a scientific project.
As its first step, the institute decided to publish The Great Islamic Encyclopedia. Practically started in 1984, this project had many difficulties and barriers in terms of collecting and accessing research tools and resources. Furthermore, the lack of a rich library containing the most original and creditable resources on Islamic and Iranian history and culture was obviously felt. However, development of the library located in scientific institute of CGIE as well as invitation of prominent and well-known researchers, paved the way for writing and compiling desired articles based on a systematic and scientific method. To accelerate the process of research, the rapid development of the library was very vital issue. So, some representatives of CGIE in Arabian countries, Indian subcontinent and Europe involved in collecting and identifying required resources. This process is following yet and until now nearly 400,000 volumes of books and periodicals on all fields of Islamic history and culture are available in CGIE. This policy led to establishment of one of the greatest special libraries on Islam and many researchers from CGIE and other research centers use its resources. Connecting to global computerized networks made the scientific relations of CGIE with other research institutes and world libraries stronger as well as enriched the librarys information resources.