Timbuktu Library Project

In 1998, the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute launched the Timbuktu Library Project whose purpose is the preservation and restoration of the lost Library of Timbuktu. Consisting of approximately 50,000 volumes covering topics such as geometry, law, astronomy, and chemistry, and dating to the late sixteenth century and before, these important documents are being cataloged, and have recently gained new interest within the academy. As that work progresses, the Institute is seeking funding to photograph and digitize the contents of the collection and, in the case of especially important works, to have them translated. The Timbuktu Library Project has been funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This project sponsored a book talk on April 14, 2016 by Joshua Hammer, author of The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts.

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