Charles Melville became Professor of Persian History at the University in 2008 and has been a Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge, since 1985.
His main research interests are in the history and historiography of medieval Iran, with a concentration on the Mongol–Safavid periods (13th-17th centuries), and text-image studies of Persian manuscripts, particularly the Shahnama of Firdausi and the illustration of history in Persian chronicles.
Professor Melville has been a long-serving member of the Governing Council of the British Institute of Persian Studies and chairman of the Research Committee, and is currently President.
Since 1999, he has been Director of the Shahnama Project, and since 2006 he has been President of The Islamic Manuscript Association (TIMA), both based in Cambridge.
In 2010 he was behind an exhibition of Persian manuscripts and paintings of the Shahnama (Persian Book of Kings) at the Fitzwilliam Museum. He has travelled widely in Central Asia and Iran (both before and after the Islamic Revolution).
Amongst other works, A Chronicle of the reign of Shah ‘Abbas. Fazli Beg Khuzani Isfahani, was published in 2015, with Kioumars Ghereghlou.