Excerpted and reblogged from the New York Times, published May 20, 2008:
Project Digitizes Works from the Golden Age of Timbuktu
by John Noble Wilford
From Timbuktu to here, to reverse the expression, the written words of the legendary African oasis are being delivered by electronic caravan. A lode of books and manuscripts, some only recently rescued from decay, is being digitized for the Internet and distributed to scholars worldwide ...
Now, the first five of the rare manuscripts from private libraries have been digitized and made available online (www.aluka.org) to scholars and students. At least 300 are expected to be available online by the end of the year.