An ancient manuscript from Timbuktu, Mali
Media playback is unsupported on your device

Saving Timbuktu's ancient manuscripts

29 November 2014 Last updated at 02:14 GMT

Timbuktu in northern Mali is renowned for its thousands of ancient manuscripts, some of which are 600 years old.

United Nations cultural body Unesco will be hosting a conference in December on how to preserve the manuscripts, which address topics such as history, science, Islamic law, conflict resolution and medicine, and date back to when the city was an important academic centre.

They came under threat when the city was occupied by Islamist militants for several months in 2012. Many of the manuscripts were burnt, but thousands more were saved. Six residents tell the BBC what they did to protect their heritage.

Audio slideshow by the BBC's Laeila Adjovi

Interviewees in order: Abdulwahid Abderahim Haidara, anonymous resident, Abdulhamin Kunta, Dramane Mouleye Haidara, Mohamed El Moktar Cisse and Sane Chirfi Alpha

Related Topics