Granted, I work for this organization, but that does not bias me in any way whatsoever. Maybe not. Either way, Timbuktu is a fairly mysterious sounding name and this webinar goes a long way in establishing why it was so alluring. It chronicles the digitization efforts of Aluka with the Islamic manuscripts of Timbuktu. Some wonderful commentary and visuals. The excerpt below is from the Aluka blog.

Timbuktu Webinar Now Available for Download!

On April 22, 2008, Harlan Wallach of Northwestern University Advanced Media Production Studio (NUAMPS) conducted a live webinar on his experiences in Timbuktu, Mali, as part of a joint effort with Aluka to digitize Islamic manuscripts held in private libraries throughout the city. Mr. Wallach outlined the major players involved in such a vast undertaking as well as some of the technical considerations involved in digitization in Mali. This webinar provides a fascinating glimpse into the rich intellectual tradition of Timbuktu and its importance as a center of Islamic learning.

The webinar is now available for download here.

If you want to see the first digitized Islamic manuscripts, as well as collection information and essays please go to

Please stay tuned for more Aluka webinars in the near future.

By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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