Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare by Email

The collection consists of seven sets of manuscripts.

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

Collections in this community

Recently Added

  • Mandinkakaŋ Leetaroolu: Letters in Mandinka 

    Unknown author
    The collection contains short notes and letters written by family members in Mandinka Ajami. The first letter is sent from Guinea-Bissau by Sire Mbaa Daffe, who is the aunt of the owner, to greet him and to request that ...
  • Kitaaboo Foloota: The Book Began 

    Unknown author
    The document is a Mandinka Ajami poem entitled Kitaaboo Foloota (English: The Book Began), which alludes to the beginning of the Quran. The poem praises God and Prophet Muḥammad and teaches tawḥid (English: oneness of God). ...
  • Diinoo Koyindiraŋo: Clarifiying Religious Precepts 

    Unknown author
    The manuscript is a photocopy from the original written in Arabic. It is a manual for understanding Islam. It deals with the history of the faith before, during, and after the life of Prophet Muḥammad. It praises God and ...
  • Images of Ansou Daffe and the community of Kandialang (Ziguinchor) 

    Ngom, Ibrahima (2018-05-07)
    Images of manuscript owner Ansou Daffe and the community of Kandialang, Ziguinchor, Senegal, for the manuscript digitization work done in May 2018.
  • Al-'Ashmāwī 

    Unknown author
    The manuscript is a copy of an important Mālikī figh text authored by 'Abd al-Bārī. that is part of the Islamic curriculum in West Africa. The document is a bilingual exegesis of the manual. Arabic words are followed by ...
  • Faatimata Faama: Fatima's Father 

    Daffe, Seckou Mohamadou Lamine
    The manuscript is a tribute to Prophet Muḥammad, Fatimata's father. The poem urges people to follow Prophet Muḥammad's example and teaching. It refers to Prophet Muḥammad as "The one who was taught by Angel Gabriel." It ...
  • Kaŋ Kalifa Jaabi la Suukuwo: Poetry by Kang Kalifa Diaby 

    Diaby, Kang Kalifa
    The manuscript is a copy of the original written by Kang Kalifa Diaby who was an eminent Mandinka scholar in Casamance. The poem praises God for creating human beings and for sending Prophet Muḥammad to bring light and ...
  • Al-Risāla: The Epistle 

    al-Qayrawānī, Ibn Abī Zayd
    The manuscript is a copy of Risāla by Ibn Abī Zayd al-Qayrawānī, which is one of the earliest Islamic texts that covers what Muslims need to know to fulfil their religious obligations. It is a part of West Africa’s Islamic ...