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The Trans-Saharan Book Trade

Manuscript Culture, Arabic Literacy and Intellectual History in Muslim Africa

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Edited by Graziano Krätli and Ghislaine Lydon

As the manuscript treasures in the libraries of Timbuktu and throughout the northwestern quarter of Africa become known, many questions are raised. How did a manuscript culture flourish in the Sahara and in Muslim Africa more generally? Under what conditions did African intellectuals thrive, and how did they acquire scholarly works and the writing paper necessary to contribute to knowledge? By exploring the history of the trans-Saharan book and paper trades, the scholarly production and teaching curriculae of African Muslims and the formation, preservation and codicology of library collections, the authors of this original volume provide a variety of answers. The select number of invited contributions represents current research in the material, technological, economic, and cultural dimensions of manuscript production, circulation, and preservation, and the development of specific scholarly and intellectual traditions in Saharan and Sudanic Africa