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The collection contains five manuscripts: an exegesis of al-Akhdarī in Mandinka Ajami; a Mandinka Ajami poem dealing with current Issues; a sample Arabic-Mandinka Ajami exegesis of the Quran; a complete exegesis of the Quran in Mandinka Ajami; and, a bilingual Arabic-Mandinka Ajami dictionary in progress.

Led by Professor Fallou Ngom, the project initially focused on preserving endangered Mandinka Ajami manuscripts of the southern Casamance region of Senegal. However, our fieldwork team found on the ground when the project began that the endangered manuscripts were richer than initially anticipated. They encompass four major types: 1) Arabic texts; 2) Arabic texts with glosses in Arabic; 3) Arabic texts with glosses in Arabic and local languages (Soninke and Mandinka); and 4) Mandinka Ajami texts. Because all the manuscripts are equally important and document the preoccupations and intellectual traditions of the Mandinka people of Senegambia and beyond, we expanded the project beyond its original focus on Mandinka Ajami texts to include Arabic and bilingual (Arabic and Mandinka or Soninke) manuscripts we were allowed to digitize.

This is a joint project between Boston University and the West African Research Center (WARC), funded by the British Library/Arcadia Endangered Archives Programme. Support for this project was provided by the BU College of Arts & Sciences (Dean Ann E. Cudd and Associate Dean Nancy Ammerman), the Department of Anthropology, and Boston University Libraries. Fieldwork Team: Professor Fallou Ngom (Principal Investigator; former Director of the African Studies Center), Ablaye Diakité (Local Project Manager), Mr. Ibrahima Yaffa (General Field Facilitator), and Ibrahima Ngom (photographer). Technical Team: Professor Fallou Ngom and Eleni Castro (Technical Lead, BU Libraries). This collection of Mandinka Ajami materials is copied as part of the African Studies Center’s African Ajami Library. Access Condition and Copyright: These materials are subject to copyright and are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are fully cited using the information below. For use, distribution or reproduction beyond these terms, contact Professor Fallou Ngom ( Required Citation: Materials in this web edition should be cited as: Ngom, Fallou, Castro, Eleni, & Diakité, Ablaye. (2018). African Ajami Library: EAP 1042. Digital Preservation of Mandinka Ajami Materials of Casamance, Senegal. Boston: Boston University Libraries: For Inquiries: please contact Professor Fallou Ngom ( For technical assistance, please contact

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  • Al-Akhdarī in Mandinka Ajami 

    Diaby, Bafode
    The manuscript is a Mandinka Ajami exegesis of the popular Malikī jurisprudence (figh) text known as Al-Akhdarī, authored by the Algerian scholar, Abū Yazīd ʿAbd al-Raḥmān bin Muḥammad al-Ṣaghīr bin Muḥammad bin ʿĀmir. ...
  • Tafsīr al-Jalālayn in Mandinka Ajami (Complete Quran) 

    Diaby, Bafode; al-Maḥallī, Jalāl al-Dīn; al-Suyūtī, Jalāl al-Dīn
    The Mandinka Ajami manuscript is Bafode’s Tafsīr al-Jalālayn of the entire Quran in Mandinka Ajami. It is modeled on the exegesis of the Quran by a teacher and his student who are both called Jalāl: Jalāl al-Dīn al-Maḥallī ...
  • Tafsīr al-Jalālayn (Sample) 

    Diaby, Bafode; al-Maḥallī, Jalāl al-Dīn; al-Suyūtī, Jalāl al-Dīn
    The bilingual Arabic-Mandinka Ajami document is a sample of Bafode’s Tafsīr al-Jalālayn, an exegesis of the Quran, which is modeled on the work of a teacher and his student who are both called Jalāl: Jalāl al-Dīn al-Maḥallī ...
  • Balukuu Suukuwo: Mandinka poetry on current issues 

    Diaby, Bafode
    The manuscript is a Mandinka Ajami poem dealing with current issues in Mandinka society. Bafode highlights the social problems he identified in his society and urges people to promote education and literacy in their own ...
  • Araabukaŋ aniŋ Mandinkakaŋ Kannasooru Kitaabo: Bilingual Arabic-Mandinka Ajami Dictionary 

    Diaby, Bafode
    The bilingual manuscript is one of Bafode’s ongoing projects. It is an Arabic-Mandinka dictionary to help Mandinka people know their language and Arabic. He was inspired by existing dictionaries of Arabic and other languages. ...
  • Images of manuscript owner Bafode Diaby and his family in Medina Wandufa 

    Ngom, Ibrahima (2018-12-26)
    Images of manuscript owner Bafode Diaby and his family in Medina Wandufa, Sedhiou, Senegal, for the manuscript digitization work done in December 2018.