January 18, 2022

Morocco: The Delicate Task of Restoring One of the World’s Oldest Libraries

Audio and Text From National Public Radio (NPR).

From the Text:

Called the medina, neighborhood streets lined with domes and archways take you back through the history of the dynasties and occupiers that ruled Morocco from the 9th century on. At the center of the square is the Qarawiyyin Library, founded more than a millennium ago.

We’ve heard much recently about the destruction of grand historical sites in places like Syria and Iraq, where war and ISIS wreak havoc on the present and the past. But this library has been lovingly restored to protect ancient manuscripts by some of the greatest Islamic thinkers.


Now the library has a new gutter system and solar panels. Air conditioner units are tucked behind wooden carvings that match the aesthetic. And finally, the delicate manuscripts are protected in a temperature- and humidity-controlled room with a modern security system.

Henda says the library, which will reopen officially in May, is more than just a building.

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See Also: Restoring the World’s Oldest Library (2012; via Ted.com)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.