“Mali Magic,” by Google Arts & Culture, features 40,000 manuscripts that have survived the 10-month occupation and destruction of the city of Timbuktu.
Access Rare and Beautiful “Manuscripts of the Muslim World” via UPenn’s Digital Library
The project offers over 500 manuscripts and 827 paintings that are “mostly unresearched.”
The Library of Congress Acquires and Digitizes a Rare Mesoamerican Codex
The Library of Congress has acquired and digitized the 16th-century Codex Quetzalecatzin, a rare Mesoamerican record of early European contact.
A Rare Deposition from the Salem Witch Trials Goes to Auction
Christie’s is auctioning a rare 1692 deposition from the Salem witch trials that helped sentence an elderly widow to death.
Shakespeare’s Only Handwritten Manuscript Contains a Message of Empathy for Migrants
Aside from a few signatures, only one example of William Shakespeare’s handwriting survives, a speech from around 1600 that imagines Sir Thomas More addressing the rage of an anti-migrant crowd in England.
The Magna Carta Makes a Rare and Brief Appearance in NYC
For one week only, a 1217 version of the Magna Carta is visiting New York City on a rare tour from England.
Oldest Fragment of Koran Found in UK Library
A 1,370-year-old section of the Koran possibly dating back to the life of Mohammed has been discovered in central England.
French Manuscript Museum Raided over Murky Investment Scheme
Paris’s Musée des Lettres et Manuscrits (MLM), an institution devoted to ancient manuscripts and historic letters, was raided by French authorities on Tuesday for its apparent role in a fraudulent investment scheme masterminded by the museum’s founder, financier Gérard Lhéritier.
Finally, an App for Transcribing Medieval Manuscripts
A new app allows medievalists, aspiring medievalists, or medievally-minded scriveners to try their hand at transcribing 26 manuscripts on their smartphones.
The Majority of Timbuktu’s Medieval Manuscripts Are Safe
On Monday, Hyperallergic reported that Islamist rebels set fire to two historic libraries in the Malian city of Timbuktu (a UNESCO world heritage site), just as French forces and the Malian army pushed them out. The rebels may have destroyed 2,000 of the Ahmed Baba Institute’s volumes of medieval-era scholarship, but there is some good news: many of the archives’ treasures had earlier been removed to private libraries and collections.