Timbuktu Library Project

Director Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

In 1998, the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute launched the Timbuktu Library Project, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with the purpose of cataloging, preserving, and restoring the lost Library of Timbuktu, which consists of approximately 50,000 volumes covering topics such as geometry, law, astronomy, and chemistry, and dating to the late sixteenth century and before. The long-term goal is to photograph and digitize the contents of the collection and, in the case of especially important works, to have them translated.