Desert Libraries of Timbuktu

The Library of Congress has a new online exhibition of ancient manuscripts from Timbuktu, which once was a thriving commercial and cultural center. The exhibited manuscripts date from the sixteenth to eighteenth century, and are “remarkable artifacts important to Malian and West African culture.” You can view images from the books here. Notice that the script used in the leaves is Moghrebi (or Maghrebi), a curviform style typically used in Morocco, Algeria and elsewhere in North Africa.

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Africa’s Written Tradition

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