Thursday, August 07, 2008

Legacy of the Oasis

Matthias Schulz and Anwen Roberts describe "The Rush to Save Timbuktu's Crumbling Manuscripts" in Der Spiegel. Some experts estimate that as many as 300,000 "forgotten" manuscripts in Timbuktu, originally hidden from European colonialists, are at risk from distintegration, and fading inks. "The Ahmed Baba Library alone contains more than 20,000 manuscripts, including works on herbal medicine and mathematics, yellowed volumes of poetry, music and Islamic law. Some are adorned with gilded letters, while others are written in the language of the Tuareg tribes. The contents remain a mystery.",1518,569560,00.html