The Worldly Librarian

International library issues

Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

Ancient African manuscripts have new library home

Posted by worldlylibrarian on January 22, 2009

As previously reported, the South African government has been working with the government of Mali to build a library to house more than 30,000 historic manuscripts. These are unique and ancient documents from Africa’s history, dating back to pre-Islamic times.

I can now report that the new library and archives building has been completed. The design of the building was influenced by the local adobe architecture of Timbuktu, a city that was once a key Islamic spiritual centre in the 15th and 16th centuries, and where the historic documents were hidden by families for centuries.

Other governments are also involved in this project, including the United States, Libya, and others. More info in the New York Times

Source: Africa News

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South Africa supporting library for historic documents in Mali

Posted by worldlylibrarian on June 5, 2008

A recent budget announcement by the South African Arts and Culture Minister, Pallo Jordan, included one million Rand (about 80,000 euro) to help build a library in Timbuktu, Mali.

More than 100,000 manuscripts, some dating back to pre-Islamic times, were kept hidden by various families in private libraries in Timbuktu over the years. The documents, many written by Mali wise men coming from the Mali Empire, cover a variety of subjects including astronomy, music, and botany. Some of these documents have been moved to various libraries in the region, but others remain in private hands.

There is a comprehensive online exhibit about the documents at the Library of Congress web site.

The funds will also help in the restoration and conservation of the documents.

Original Source: Lexis Nexis/AllAfrica

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