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Brittle Timbuktu manuscripts being digitized

Timbuktu In a good sign for those who appreciate the value of historic texts, the current wave of digitization continues to expand. Timbuktu may be a dusty mud brick village today, but it was once a thriving commercial and intellectual center. Now remnants of its past, in the form of brittle manuscripts found in assorted hard to reach collections, are being digitized for the world to see.  An article appearing in the New York times, profiles the project and notes that the collection will be hosted by Aluka, a nonprofit organization devoted to "bringing knowledge from and about Africa to the scholarly world." In order to digitize the manuscript, media technicians from Northwestern University set up a high-resolution digital photo studio amid the dust storms and frequent power interruptions.  Only a few texts are currently available, but in the future, those who pore through the collection of  manuscripts will find that a wide range of topics had captured the attention of Timbuktu scholars, including the sciences, literature, law, and religious practices.

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