The Lost Libraries of Timbuktu

About the Show

Once a desert trading post, Timbuktu grew into a golden city which gained World Heritage status in 1988. During the last 30 years some 20 libraries have been set up to house collections of books and manuscripts written by the city’s ancestors. It is estimated that over 700,000 of Timbuktu’s manuscripts survive from its university libraries, some dating back to the 13th Century. Now, in a spellbinding journey, author Aminatta Forna travels to the beautiful landscapes of Timbuktu in a quest to discover Africa’s oldest literature and find out why its preservation matters.