Rescuing Endangered Manuscripts of The Ilorin Emirate in Nigeria (EAP1101)

Aims and objectives

The project’s aim is to preserve five collections of endangered Arabic manuscripts deposited at the Centre for Ilorin Manuscripts and Culture at Kwara State University, Malete, and four private repositories in Ilorin. The manuscripts cover subjects such as literature, Qur’an, letters, local medicines, etc. Although majority of the manuscripts were re-copied between 1920 and 1960, some dated back to the emirate period i.e. c.1824-1900 when Ilorin contributed greatly to the development of Islamic scholarship in Yorubaland. Through digitisation, the project will preserve the intellectual property of Ilorin emirate and make it available to researchers across the globe.


The project was able to rescue and preserve 820 Arabic manuscripts of the  Ilorin Emirate. As part of the project, five different collections were digitised, and a total of 15 digital copies created. The materials dated in some cases from the early 19th century and cover various subjects from poets, writers and scholars of the pre-Islamic era. The project contributed to the development of skills related to preservation, digtisation and cataloguing.

The records copied by this project have been catalogued as: