Tombouctou: bibliothèque en exil...


Les manuscrits de Tombouctou forment un ensemble de documents datant de la période impériale ouest-africaine. La majorité d'entre eux ont rédigés directement à Tombouctou, à l'époque où cette ville était un haut lieu de savoir. Les plus anciens datents du 13e siècle. On estime leur nombre à plus de 500 000 pièces, ce qui comprend tant des textes destinés à l'enseignement que de courtes lettres.

En 2012, devant la menace des rebelles fondamentalistes salafistes, une équipe d'archivistes, de bibliothécaires et autres ont évacués ces irremplaçables trésors de Tombouctou.

Ces manuscripts médiévaux ont été sauvés de la destruction immédiate, certes, mais le danger persiste. Un effort massif d'archivage sécuritaire et dans des conditions de conservation professionnelles est requis pour protéger ces trésors de l'humanité.

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After surviving their evacuation from Timbuktu to the south of Mali, the Timbuktu manuscripts are facing severe risks.

At this crucial junction in the long life of the Timbuktu manuscripts, we are frightened for their survival. They have never before been forced to leave the desert, even if during previous periods of conflict in the Sahara, they had to go underground, they were never, as they are now, exposed to comparable levels of physical integrity trauma due to their being tightly packed in the footlockers used for their evacuation and because of much higher humidity levels in the south of Mali where they are in safekeeping.

All of the funding we are attempting to raise through our Indiegogo campaign (see will serve a single purpose: better accomodate the manuscripts (individual boxing, buffering and humidity control while maintaining mobility so that the manuscripts can be moved in the case of an escalation of socio-political strife in Mali) to lessen the risk of deformation and arrest microbial infestation that are imminent and will lead to very significant loss of substance. It will start raining very hard in Mali very soon - this will accelerate the risks greatly.

If you have already contributed to the campaign or if you would like to support the work in a different way than by contributing financially, please implement information sharing in your personal and professional networks. To date, we have received donations from more than 700 individuals from all walks of life through this networking approach. We are still very far from our funding goal and need many more people to join us on this great learning adventure of the Timbuktu Libraries.

Stephanie Diakité

T106K - Timbuktu Libraries in Exile

731 Woodmont Beach Road South
Des Moines, Washington 98198 USA
Tel. +1 206 948 5882
Sébénincoro, Près du Pont Woyowayanko
Bamako, République du Mali
Tel. +223 76 43 89 06