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Ancient Mali's manuscripts available online

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A virtual gallery containing thousands of Mali's ancient documents has been launched.

The gallery contains up to 40 thousand documents written in ancient Arabic that have been digitised and made available online.

The manuscripts were smuggled to safety from Timbuktu after Islamist militant groups took control of the city in northern Mali in 2012.

The collection also captures other aspects of Mali's rich cultural history and traditions.

The manuscripts contain centuries of African knowledge and scholarship on topics ranging from maths to astrological charts.

For centuries Timbuktu was a cultural hub on the African continent, as well as an Islamic centre of learning.

The collection was put together by Google along with local and international partners.

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