Librarian Saved Thousands of Historical Manuscripts From Being Destroyed | My Modern Met


By Madeleine Muzdakis on September 12, 2021

Manuscripts at the Ahmed Baba Centre, Timbuktu, in 2013. (Photo: UNESCO via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

A librarian named Abdel Kader Haidara secretly saved hundreds of thousands of manuscripts from being gone forever.

The fabled ancient city of Timbuktu, Mali, is a center of great learning. The permanent settlement of the city dates back to the 12th century when important caravan trade routes crisscrossed the Sahara and northern Africa. Beginning with the Mali Empire’s rule of the city in the 14th century, it flourished in a Golden Age of early Islamic intellectualism. The thousands of texts produced during and after this period comprise the renowned manuscripts of Timbuktu. When the collections were endangered in the summer of 2012, a librarian named Abdel Kader Haidara mobilized to save the city’s literary legacy.

Astronomy tables in a Timbuktu manuscript. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Public domain)

The manuscripts of Timbuktu may number up to 700,000. These precious texts include early Qurans and topics including astronomy and math. For generations, they were held by private families who passed them down to succeeding generations. Among the librarians with a long family history of safeguarding books is Haidara. Haidara’s rich private collection was housed in his Mamma Haidara Commemorative Library. Haidara told The Wall Street Journal in 2016, “Many of the manuscripts show that Islam is a religion of tolerance.” […]

ankoré Madrasah, part of the University of Timbuktu, in Mali. (Photo: Anne and David via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0)

More: Librarian Saved Thousands of Historical Manuscripts From Being Destroyed

About agogo22

Director of Manchester School of Samba at http://www.sambaman.org.uk
This entry was posted in Literature and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.