The Lost Libraries of Timbuktu

Mali_Timbuktu from a terrace by Heinrich Barth 1858
View of Timbuktu in 1858 by explorer Heinrich Barth 

As you all know Timbuktu was a great center of knowledge in search for  for many centuries starting at least in the 12th century. It was visited by people from around the world, in search of knowledge.

Timbuktu was one of the world’s first and oldest thriving universities! Students came from all over the world to study at Timbuktu. Imagine that, students from the middle east, and Europe coming to study in Africa! There are over 700,000 manuscripts at the great Sankore University in Timbuktu, and many more at other libraries including the  Ahmed Baba Institute, Al-Wangari Library, and others.

Enjoy this documentary about the lost libraries of Timbuktu commented by the Scottish/Sierra Leonean writer Aminatta Forna. Enjoy, and discover with me the treasures of Africa.

13 thoughts on “The Lost Libraries of Timbuktu

  1. Makeda

    Dr. Y,

    Thank you for capturing such precious information. I feel an overwhelming pride mixed with anger when I rediscover these truths. Fortunately, I am still alive to learn about our history to pass it on to the young minds with whom I encounter.
    Thank you for sharing!!


    1. Amen! You are still alive, and that is awesome! Knowing the truth is freeing! It gets you to realize that you are something, that you are strong, that you come from strong people, knowledge, and grace, and that is a feeling to cherish and pass on.


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