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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Towards a conceptualization of the study of Africa's indigenous manuscript heritage and tradition
Author:Minicka, MaryISNI
Year:2008
Periodical:Tydskrif vir letterkunde
Volume:45
Issue:1
Pages:143-163
Language:English
Geographic term:Mali
Subjects:manuscripts
Islamic history
conservation of cultural heritage
Link:https://doi.org/10.4314/tvl.v45i1.29826
Abstract:This paper shares the experiences of the South African Conservation Technical Team of the Timbuktu Rare Manuscripts Project in the conservation and preservation of manuscripts in Timbuktu, Mali. A manuscript is always more than just its textual information - it is a living historical entity and its study a complex web of interrelated factors: the origins, production (that is, materials, formats, script, typography, and illustration), content, use and role of books in culture, education and society in general. The widespread availability of paper made it easier to produce these manuscripts as important vehicles for transmitting knowledge in Islamic society. Islamic written culture, particularly during the time of the European Middle Ages, was by all accounts incomparably more brilliant than anything known in contemporary Europe. The time for studying the African manuscript tradition has never been more appropriate given the recent renewed calls for the need to reappraise African history and achievements. It must be acknowledged, however, that the study of the African manuscript heritage will not be without difficulty. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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