The Institut National du Patrimoine de Tunisie (INP) safeguards the manuscript collection of the Mausoleum of Sidi Moussa Jemni, located in the village of Matmata el Guedima, in the south of Tunisia.
The manuscripts are the tangible remnants of the time when part of the complex served as a Madrassa, or school, in the eighteenth century. The collection contains around 400 volumes of rare, unique and richly decorated manuscripts on several themes, such as mathematics, astronomy, Islamic science and the Koran. The collection is currently in a critical condition, and is threatened by several environmental issues, such as sand storms and humidity, and man-made factors, like improper handling, looting and imminent vandalism. The project aims to preserve this culturally and historically valuable collection by restoration, conservation, the improvement of storage conditions, documentation and digitization. Local staff of the INP will be trained to properly maintain and restore the collection in the future.
Image copyright: Conservartecuador