Aluka update:

Latest Additions, African Cultural Heritage Sites and Landscapes
Timbuktu Manuscripts Collection

Aluka is pleased to announce that the first five of 300 manuscripts from Timbuktu, Mali are now available. The digitised manuscripts can be found in the Aluka Digital Library as part of its African Cultural Heritage Sites and Landscapes content area.

The manuscripts demonstrate sophisticated visual and technical artistry and embrace a diverse range of topics and genres, including the natural and physical sciences, the literary arts, the Islamic religious sciences, and historical accounts. Many of them are written in local African vernaculars and Arabic using calligraphic scripts.

Digitisation of the manuscripts was a joint effort between Aluka and one of its partners, the Mali-based SAVAMA-DCI (L’organisation Non Gouvernmentale pour la Sauvegarde et la Valorisation des Manuscrits pour la Defense de la Culture Islamique ), a non-profit consortium of private manuscript libraries in Timbuktu. Aluka and Northwestern University’s Advanced Media Production Studio (NUAMPS) provided training, expertise, and equipment to SAVAMA-DCI, enabling the organisation to create a digital imaging studio in Timbuktu so that it could photograph each manuscript page and thus enhance preservation efforts.

Additional Timbuktu manuscripts will become available online before the end of 2008.

Press release here

Manuscripts webinar available here

Aluka Web site