For most of their history, the Ismailis have been studied almost exclusively on the basis of evidence provided by their enemies, but the last few decades have seen significant changes. A new generation of scholars have continued to build upon the work of pioneering scholars and some key discoveries, generating new perspectives from which to study the history of Ismailism.
Modern scholarship in Ismaili studies is set to continue at an even greater pace as the Ismailis themselves are now becoming widely interested in studying their literary heritage and history - a phenomenon attested by an increasing number of Ismaili-related doctoral dissertations written in recent decades by Ismailis. In this context, a major role is played by The Institute of Ismaili Studies. It serves as the central point of reference for Ismaili studies while making its own contributions through various programmes of research and publications. Numerous scholars worldwide participate in these academic programmes, and many more benefit from the accessibility of the Ismaili manuscripts held at the Institute’s Library.
Key outputs of the Institute's research on Ismaili History, its intellectual tranditions and analysis of key manuscripts have led to a number of academic books and articles being published on the subject of Ismaili Studies. As well as this two specific publications series have been developed, namely the Ismaili Heritage Series and the Ismaili Texts and Translations Series.