Mohamed arrived at the hotel with a driver at 10:00 to take us on a city tour, and to hook up with Hamidou for a more expansive exploration of the libraries and lab. After the tour (to be covered in a future post - stay tuned), we visited the lab where Harlan and Hamidou coordinate to digitally document manuscripts. As I understand it, the SAVAMA - DCI Organization, funded by the Ford Foundation, is the overarching organizing structure working to preserve and protect these manuscripts. Harlan is leading a supporting project through Northwestern University (NUAMPS), with funding from the Mellon Foundation, to create and make available high definition, scholarship level photo imagery of some of the manuscripts for distribution on-line. Some photos from the day:
I take advantage of the great internet connectivity at the lab to post to the blog and IM with Harlan.
But before we go inside, a comparative reminder of the entrance to the Alimame Choffer library, highlighted in yesterday's post.
Inside the Mamma Haidera library. Cataloged and protected manuscripts in a climate controlled environment. The way it should be done.
At the Mamma Haidera library, selected manuscripts are displayed in rows of cabinets, on a wide variety of topics including politics, logic, mathematics, history ...
The Ancient University of Sankore