World's Oldest Library Has New Technology to Preserve its Records Forever

by ParentCo. September 22, 2016

After years of restoration, the ninth-century Qarawiyyin library in north-eastern Morocco is finally set to reopen... This, it is widely believed, is the oldest library in the world... The iron door is found along a corridor that once linked the library with the neighbouring Qarawiyyin Mosque...Inside it were kept the most prized tomes in the collection; works of such immense import that each of the four locks had separate keys held with four different individuals, all of whom had to be present for the door to be opened. The restored library boasts a new sewerage and underground canal system to drain away the moisture that had threatened to destroy many of its prized manuscripts – plus an elaborate lab to treat, preserve and digitise the oldest texts. A special room with strict security and temperature and humidity controls houses the most ancient works. The most precious is a ninth-century copy of the Qur’an, written in ornate Kufic script on camel skin. The library’s restoration comes at a time when extremists are rampaging the region’s heritage. Across Syria and Iraq, the militants of the Islamic State have carried out cultural atrocities that include ransacking the great library of Mosul, burning thousands of manuscripts, bulldozing ancient Assyrian cities like Nimrud and Hatra in Iraq, blowing up the Temple of Bel in Palmyra and sacking the oasis city’s museum, in addition to destroying tombs and mausoleums of Shia and Christian saints. The Qarawiyyin library was also founded by a woman. In the ninth century, Fatima al-Fihri, the daughter of a wealthy merchant from Tunisia’s Kairouan, arrived in Fez and began laying the groundwork for a complex that would include the library, the Qarawiyyin Mosque, and Qarawiyyin University, the oldest higher education institution in the world – with alumni including the Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides, the great Muslim historian Ibn Khaldun, and the Andalusian diplomat Leo Africanus. The library is expected to be reopened for visitors later this year after an initial target of summer 2016, and then September, slipped by. No definite date has been set, but the architects remain confident it will happen before 2017.
Source: World's oldest library reopens in Fez: 'You can hurt us, but you can't hurt the books' | Cities | The Guardian



ParentCo.

Author



Also in Conversations

sun's rays fall on the boy's face inside a dark room
How Long Does the Pain of Bullying Last?

by ParentCo.

Bullying can have long term impact on mental health. These days parents don’t just have to watch for traditional bullying such as physical violence, taunts and social exclusion, we also have to monitor for cyber-bullying. If bullying happens, how can you help?

Continue Reading

Human brain learning tendency with sparling bulb
Want to Be Happier This Year? Learn Your Tendency

by ParentCo.

Knowing our tendency can impact how we parent, how we interact with others, and how much grace we offer ourselves.

Continue Reading

young girl happy in bed with white sheets
Why learning how to be adaptable is more important for kids than ever

by Emily Glover

If you had asked someone this time last year to explain “social distancing,” what would they have said? As we all know, adults weren’t the only ones who had to make adjustments when the pandemic began: Kids around the world were thrust into remote schooling situations, moved playdates exclusively to video calls, and were encouraged to wear face masks in public.

Continue Reading