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Thread: Timbuktu manuscripts: Mali's ancient documents captured online

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    UK Avalon Member bogeyman's Avatar
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    Default Timbuktu manuscripts: Mali's ancient documents captured online


    A virtual gallery to showcase Mali's cultural history has been launched, featuring tens of thousands of Timbuktu's ancient manuscripts.

    The manuscripts were smuggled to safety from Timbuktu after Islamist militant groups took control of the city in northern Mali in 2012.

    They contain centuries of African knowledge and scholarship on topics ranging from maths to astrological charts.

    "Central to the heritage of Mali, they represent the long legacy of written knowledge and academic excellence in Africa," said Dr Abdel Kader Haidara, a librarian known for smuggling the manuscripts out of Timbuktu, who was also involved in the project.

    The collection, called Mali Magic, also captures Malian culture beyond the manuscripts. It was put together by Google, along with local and international partners.

    It features a picture of the dance of the Dogon ethnic group. It also showcases art, such as that of award-winning Abdoulaye Konaté, and an image of builders plastering the Great Mosque of Djenné, a Unesco world heritage site about 500km (310 miles) south of Timbuktu.

    So much historical records have been lost, hopefully this method will preserve what remains.

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