A library in Timbuktu

From Architectural Record: “Just a few miles from the Niger River Delta [note: that should read Inner Niger Delta] in Mali, Timbuktu appears as a labyrinth of single-story mud buildings. A city of near-mythic status, it is the last outpost before the great Sahara Desert, a place synonymous with being almost impossible to reach. Despite its remote location, the city boasts a heritage of scholarship that has produced an astounding number of manuscripts. The new Ahmed Baba Institute of Higher Islamic Studies and Research, completed in 2009, introduces state-of-the-art techniques for conserving, exhibiting, and studying these famous Timbuktu manuscripts.”

Here’s  the exterior:

And here’s the interior:

And here are the books:

All pictures via. And thank you to my architect friend S. who pointed me here.

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9 thoughts on “A library in Timbuktu

  1. What a lovely library. It’s so nice to see something from a place I only know of from maps. Thanks for sharing this. You have a very nice blog here too.

  2. @ amy: the contrast between the exteriror and the interiors is quite dramatic, isn’t it?

    @ Sandra: Thank you! Yes, Timbuktu is one of those places most of us only know of from maps; the library somehow makes it feel closer now!

  3. That’s a beautiful library, so cool-looking and light and airy.

    Though “a few miles from the Niger River delta”? The Niger River delta is in Nigeria, which is miles from Timbuktu, in Mali.

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