A Precious History Preserved

How scholars in Timbuktu protected medieval texts under an Islamist occupation

Daniel Seckman for The Chronicle

Time, heat, and insects have damaged many of Timbuktu's manuscripts.
May 06, 2013

Sidi Lamine gently opens the creaky wooden door that leads to his collection of manuscripts. Housed in a dark, windowless room, hundreds of medieval texts line handsome wooden bookshelves that reach to the ceiling. A musty smell lingers over…

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