Timbuctu: preservation project for the manuscripts of the Al Aqib library


    The manuscript preservation project continues at the Al Aqib library in Timbuctu. The COVID-19 epidemic, which also reached Timbuctu, required the adoption of protective measures for the staff employed on the project. Thanks to the prompt response of ALIPH Foundation it was possible to purchase personal hygiene and protection devices (masks, gels, etc.) but also two stations with tanks for hand washing, installed in the common areas of the library. These measures allowed the project activities to continue, despite the slowdowns due to the difficult situation as a whole.

    The staff is engaged in dry cleaning of manuscripts, boxmaking, cleaning and monitoring of storage areas; at the same time the ELIT project (Endangered Libraries in Timbuktu), supported and managed by Hill Museum and Manuscript Library is operational in the library for the digitization of manuscripts. They are therefore part of a single workflow that includes preventive conservation and digitization, combining physical and digital preservation and promotion, and effective use of available resources.