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Communication and Information Sector's news service

Timbuktu Manuscripts Project Continues with Preservation Study Tours

09-11-2004 (Paris)
UNESCO renews its commitment to the Timbuktu Manuscripts Project, an initiative to preserve the unique literary heritage of the Malian city of Timbuktu, by sponsoring a two-week study tour in France of renowned Malian scholars, Mohamed Gallah Dicko, from the Ahmed Baba Institute, and Moctar Sidi Yahia, from the Private Library of Alwangari.
Familiarization and training sessions on the preservation and management of historical documents and digitisation techniques are taking place from 2 to 13 November 2004 in the following institutes: Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Sciences et l’Information et des Bibliothèques (ENSSIB), Laboratoire d’Informatique en Images et Systèmes d’Information (LIRIS), Institut national des sciences appliquées (INSA), all located in Lyons, Centre de Conservation du Livre (CCL) in Arles, and the Paris-based Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF), Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA) and Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes (IRHT). They are accompanied by Alida Jay Boye, Coordinator of the Timbuktu Libraries Project from the University of Oslo.

Funded by the Government of Luxembourg, the main goal of the Timbuktu Manuscripts Project is to preserve and provide wide access to the invaluable cultural and literary heritage held in both public and private collections of historical manuscripts in the Timbuktu area.

Through training and upgrading facilities, the project will increase the capacity of the national Ahmed Baba Institute (IHERI-AB), to perform its essential missions of restoration and conservation, and scientific exploitation and dissemination of the content of the manuscripts currently in its possession as well as collections held in other libraries in Timbuktu.

Today the city of Timbuktu has some 60-80 private collections, the largest of which, the Mamma Haidara Memorial Library, has been rehabilitated through a grant from the Mellon Foundation, while a catalogue of its contents is being published by the Al-Furqan Islamic Foundation. Several other private collections were acquired by the Centre Ahmad Baba, a public institution that now contains over 18,000 manuscripts.
Related themes/countries

      · The Timbuktu Manuscripts
      · Memory of the World: News archives 2004
      · 2004
      · News archive: 2004
      · Mali: News Archive 2004
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