The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts PDT&C 2016; 45(2): 98­100 Hammer, Joshua. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2016. 278 pp. ISBN: 978-1-4767-7740-5; 978-1-4767-7743-6 (ebook). $26.00. Reviewed by Corrie Commisso, e-mail: corrie.commisso@gmail.com DOI 10.1515/pdtc-2016-0008 Timbuktu, Mali, is full of surprises. For a city that has become synonymous in modern culture with being in the middle of nowhere, Timbuktu was once the vibrant, thriving crossroads of the African continent. And contrary to the prevailing historical narrative of a sub-Saharan Africa populated by superstitious, illiterate natives, the city once housed hundreds of universities where students from as far away as the Arabian Peninsula gathered to study and learn. But perhaps most astonishing is what has lain for centuries buried in the sand, sealed into the mud brick walls of mosques, and hidden in closets and storage rooms across the city--a vast collection of twelfth- through sixteenth-century manuscripts whose historical significance and value would rival that of any collection at a modern museum or manuscript library. In The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts, Joshua Hammer turns his journalistic eye towards Timbuktu. He brings readers http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Preservation, Digital Technology & Culture (PDT&C) de Gruyter

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by the
ISSN
2195-2957
eISSN
2195-2965
DOI
10.1515/pdtc-2016-0008
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PDT&C 2016; 45(2): 98­100 Hammer, Joshua. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2016. 278 pp. ISBN: 978-1-4767-7740-5; 978-1-4767-7743-6 (ebook). $26.00. Reviewed by Corrie Commisso, e-mail: corrie.commisso@gmail.com DOI 10.1515/pdtc-2016-0008 Timbuktu, Mali, is full of surprises. For a city that has become synonymous in modern culture with being in the middle of nowhere, Timbuktu was once the vibrant, thriving crossroads of the African continent. And contrary to the prevailing historical narrative of a sub-Saharan Africa populated by superstitious, illiterate natives, the city once housed hundreds of universities where students from as far away as the Arabian Peninsula gathered to study and learn. But perhaps most astonishing is what has lain for centuries buried in the sand, sealed into the mud brick walls of mosques, and hidden in closets and storage rooms across the city--a vast collection of twelfth- through sixteenth-century manuscripts whose historical significance and value would rival that of any collection at a modern museum or manuscript library. In The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts, Joshua Hammer turns his journalistic eye towards Timbuktu. He brings readers

Journal

Preservation, Digital Technology & Culture (PDT&C)de Gruyter

Published: Jul 1, 2016

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