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Conference paper Conference paper Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The meanings of Timbuktu
Editors:Jeppie, ShamilISNI
Diagne, Souleymane BachirISNI
City of publisher:Cape Town
Publisher:HSRC Press
ISBN:0796922047; 9780796922045
Geographic terms:West Africa
Arabic language
urban history
educational history
conference papers (form)
Abstract:Timbuktu (Mali) has become the focal point of numerous projects to preserve its many thousands of manuscripts dating from the 13th through the 20th century. This volume examines this written heritage of Timbuktu within the context of the intellectual history of West Africa in particular, and of the African continent in general. It covers four broad areas: Part I provides an introduction to the region, outlines what archaeology can tell us of its history, examines the paper and various calligraphic styles used in the manuscripts, and explains how ancient institutions of scholarship functioned (contributions by Roderick J. McIntosh, Jonathan M. Bloom, Sheila S. Blair, Timothy Cleaveland); Part II analyses what the manuscripts can tell us of African history (Paulo F. de Moraes Farias, Moulaye Hassane, Hamid Bobboyi, Murray Last, Beverly B. Mack, Aslam Farouk-Alli & Mohamed Shaid Mathee); Part III offers insights into the lives and works of a few of the many scholars who achieved renown in the region and beyond: Shaykh Sidi al-Mukhtar al-Kunti (Yahya Ould el-Bara, Mahamane Mahamoudou, Abdel Wedoud Ould Cheikh) and al-Shaykh Abu al-Khayr (Muhammad Diagayeté); Part IV provides a glimpse into Timbuktu's libraries and private collections (Abdel Kader Haidara, Ismaël Diadié Haidara & Haoua Taore, Mukhtar bin Yahya al-Wangari, Muhammad Ould Youbba, John Hunwick, Charles C. Stewart); and Part V looks at aspects of the written legacy of the eastern half of Africa, which, like that of the western region, is often ignored (R. Séan O'Fahey on Arabic literature in the eastern half of Africa, Anne K. Bang on Arabic material in Zanzibar's National Archive). The Prolegomena has two essays by the editors providing background to the collection. The first (by Shamil Jeppie) sets the current South African initiatives on the conservation of Timbuktu's manuscripts in context; the second (by Souleymane Bachir Diagne) examines the meanings of an intellectual history of the region. The essays were, with one exception, read originally as papers at a conference on the Tombouctou Manuscript Project in Cape Town in 2005. [ASC Leiden abstract]