manuscript piece from TimbuktuLast summer in Timbuktu, an irreplaceable trove of manuscripts at risk of being destroyed by fundamentalist Islamic rebels, was secretly evacuated at great personal risk by a team of archivists, librarians, and couriers.

The manuscripts were saved from immediate destruction, but today they are still jam packed in footlockers used for their evacuation, while enduring higher humidity than ever before without archival protection. Already, some mildew is forming inside the containers.

Now, an internet campaign launched to fund the purchase of archival bags and boxes to protect these documents of immense global heritage has engaged people around the globe.

The “Libraries In Exile” has so far raised $42,500 online toward its fundraising goal is $100,000. Just four days remain in their campaign at

In gratitude toward donors, even to who give one dollar, the group is pledging that your name or a personal dedication be associated with these works “in perpetuity”, and to provide “a token… to keep as an enduring memento.” They are also promising a special custom piece of illuminated art executed by a Malian craftsman in exile to be given to one Twitter user chosen at random who shares this story with their followers using the hashtag, #T160K.

(WATCH the video below or READ more about the campaign at Indiegogo)

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