The Bad Ass Librarians Of Timbuktu


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To save ancient Arabic texts from Al Qaeda, a band of librarians pulls off a brazen heist worthy of Ocean’s Eleven in this “fast-paced narrative that is…part intellectual history, part geopolitical tract, and part out-and-out thriller” (The Washington Post). In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a government library, Abdel Kader Haidara, journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River, tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that were crumbling in the trunks of desert shepherds. His goal: to preserve this crucial part of the world’s patrimony in a gorgeous library. But then Al Qaeda showed up at the door. “Part history, part scholarly adventure story, and part journalist survey….Joshua Hammer writes with verve and expertise” (The New York Times Book Review) about how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist from the legendary city of Timbuktu, became one of the world’s greatest smugglers by saving the texts from sure destruction. With bravery and patience, Haidara organized a dangerous operation to sneak all 350,000 volumes out of the city to the safety of southern Mali. His heroic heist “has all the elements of a classic adventure novel” (The Seattle Times), and is a reminder that ordinary citizens often do the most to protect the beauty of their culture. His the story is one of a man who, through extreme circumstances, discovered his higher calling and was changed forever by it.

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Author by Joshua Hammer
Genre eBook History
Read Book 288
ISBN Number 9781476777436

The Falcon Thief


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A rollicking true-crime adventure about a rogue who trades in rare birds and their eggs—and the wildlife detective determined to stop him. On May 3, 2010, an Irish national named Jeffrey Lendrum was apprehended at Britain’s Birmingham International Airport with a suspicious parcel strapped to his stomach. Inside were fourteen rare peregrine falcon eggs snatched from a remote cliffside in Wales. So begins a tale almost too bizarre to believe, following the parallel lives of a globe-trotting smuggler who spent two decades capturing endangered raptors worth millions of dollars as race champions—and Detective Andy McWilliam of the United Kingdom’s National Wildlife Crime Unit, who’s hell bent on protecting the world’s birds of prey. The Falcon Thief whisks readers from the volcanoes of Patagonia to Zimbabwe’s Matobo National Park, and from the frigid tundra near the Arctic Circle to luxurious aviaries in the deserts of Dubai, all in pursuit of a man who is reckless, arrogant, and gripped by a destructive compulsion to make the most beautiful creatures in nature his own. It’s a story that’s part true-crime narrative, part epic adventure—and wholly unputdownable until the very last page.

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Author by Joshua Hammer
Genre eBook True Crime
Read Book 336
ISBN Number 9781501191886

The Fall Of Baghdad


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In the months leading up to the American invasion of Iraq, this New Yorker correspondent “embedded’ himself among the people of Baghdad and, along with a small number of other Western reporters, rode out the entire invasion and much of the subsequent occupation from inside the city. Jon Lee Anderson’s dispatches from Baghdad were immediately and widely recognized as the most important writing anyone was doing on the war anywhere, for any publication. In recognition of its significance, The New Yorker routinely held the magazine open an extra day and set up a special production team to deal with the pieces; around the office, comparisons to John Hersey’s fabled article “Hiroshima” were flying. The Fall of Baghdad is not a collection of New Yorker pieces, though; it is an original and organically cohesive narrative work that tells the story of what the people of Baghdad have endured at the hands of Saddam Hussein, during the war and during its aftermath. This is not a pro- or anti-war book; the point is to bear witness to what the people in this city have endured, to put a human face on a calamity of epic dimensions. The focus alternates among a small cast of characters, a group of disparate Iraqis who allow Anderson to bring to life different facets of the story he wants to tell; and he fills in the canvas around his figures with rich background that makes their significance sing, and helps bind the book together as the definitive reckoning with one of the most fateful stories of our time.

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Author by Jon Lee Anderson
Genre eBook History
Read Book 400
ISBN Number 1101200944

The Book Smugglers Of Timbuktu


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'An exemplary work of investigative journalism that is also a wonderfully colourful book of history and travel' Observer, Books of the Year 'A piece of postmodern historiography of quite extraordinary sophistication and ingenuity... [written with] exceptional delicacy and restraint' TLS The fabled city of Timbuktu has captured the Western imagination for centuries. The search for this 'African El Dorado' cost the lives of many explorers but Timbuktu is rich beyond its legends. Home to many thousands of ancient manuscripts on poetry, history, religion, law, pharmacology and astronomy, the city has been a centre of learning since medieval times. When jihadists invaded Mali in 2012 threatening destruction to Timbuktu's libraries, a remarkable thing happened. A team of librarians and archivists joined forces to spirit the precious manuscripts into hiding. Based on new research and first-hand reporting, Charlie English expertly tells this story set in one of the world's most fascinating places, and the myths from which it has become inseparable.

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Author by Charlie English
Genre eBook
Read Book 416
ISBN Number 0008126658

The Storied City


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“Timbuktu is a real place, and Charlie English will fuel your wanderlust with true descriptions of the fabled city’s past, present, and future.” –Fodor’s Two tales of a city: The historical race to “discover” one of the world’s most mythologized places, and the story of how a contemporary band of archivists and librarians, fighting to save its ancient manuscripts from destruction at the hands of al Qaeda, added another layer to the legend. To Westerners, the name “Timbuktu” long conjured a tantalizing paradise, an African El Dorado where even the slaves wore gold. Beginning in the late eighteenth century, a series of explorers gripped by the fever for “discovery” tried repeatedly to reach the fabled city. But one expedition after another went disastrously awry, succumbing to attack, the climate, and disease. Timbuktu was rich in another way too. A medieval center of learning, it was home to tens of thousands—according to some, hundreds of thousands—of ancient manuscripts, on subjects ranging from religion to poetry, law to history, pharmacology, and astronomy. When al-Qaeda–linked jihadists surged across Mali in 2012, threatening the existence of these precious documents, a remarkable thing happened: a team of librarians and archivists joined forces to spirit the manuscripts into hiding. Relying on extensive research and firsthand reporting, Charlie English expertly twines these two suspenseful strands into a fraught and fascinating account of one of the planet's extraordinary places, and the myths from which it has become inseparable.

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Author by Charlie English
Genre eBook History
Read Book 416
ISBN Number 9780698197145

Timbuktu


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The first book for general readers about the storied past of one of the world’s most fabled cities. Timbuktu — the name still evokes an exotic, faraway place, even though the city’s glory days are long gone. Unspooling its history and legends, resolving myth with reality, Marq de Villiers and Sheila Hirtle have captured the splendour and decay of one of humankind’s treasures. Founded in the early 1100s by Tuareg nomads who called their camp “Tin Buktu,” it became, within two centuries, a wealthy metropolis and a nexus of the trans-Saharan trade. Salt from the deep Sahara, gold from Ghana, and money from slave markets made it rich. In part because of its wealth, Timbuktu also became a centre of Islamic learning and religion, boasting impressive schools and libraries that attracted scholars from Alexandria, Baghdad, Mecca, and Marrakech. The arts flourished, and Timbuktu gained near-mythic stature around the world, capturing the imagination of outsiders and ultimately attracting the attention of hostile sovereigns who sacked the city three times and plundered it half a dozen more. The ancient city was invaded by a Moroccan army in 1600, beginning its long decline; since then, it has been seized by Tuareg nomads and a variety of jihadists, in addition to enduring a terrible earthquake, several epidemics, and numerous famines. Perhaps no other city in the world has been as golden — and as deeply tarnished — as Timbuktu. Using sources dating deep into Timbuktu’s fabled past, alongside interviews with Tuareg nomads and city residents and officials today, de Villiers and Hirtle have produced a spectacular portrait that brings the city back to life. From the Hardcover edition.

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Author by Marq De Villiers
Genre eBook History
Read Book 320
ISBN Number 9781551992778

Linked Data For Libraries Archives And Museums


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This highly practical handbook teaches you how to unlock the value of your existing metadata through cleaning, reconciliation, enrichment and linking and how to streamline the process of new metadata creation. Libraries, archives and museums are facing up to the challenge of providing access to fast growing collections whilst managing cuts to budgets. Key to this is the creation, linking and publishing of good quality metadata as Linked Data that will allow their collections to be discovered, accessed and disseminated in a sustainable manner. This highly practical handbook teaches you how to unlock the value of your existing metadata through cleaning, reconciliation, enrichment and linking and how to streamline the process of new metadata creation. Metadata experts Seth van Hooland and Ruben Verborgh introduce the key concepts of metadata standards and Linked Data and how they can be practically applied to existing metadata, giving readers the tools and understanding to achieve maximum results with limited resources. Readers will learn how to critically assess and use (semi-)automated methods of managing metadata through hands-on exercises within the book and on the accompanying website. Each chapter is built around a case study from institutions around the world, demonstrating how freely available tools are being successfully used in different metadata contexts. This handbook delivers the necessary conceptual and practical understanding to empower practitioners to make the right decisions when making their organisations resources accessible on the Web. Key topics include: - The value of metadata Metadata creation – architecture, data models and standards - Metadata cleaning - Metadata reconciliation - Metadata enrichment through Linked Data and named-entity recognition - Importing and exporting metadata - Ensuring a sustainable publishing model. Readership: This will be an invaluable guide for metadata practitioners and researchers within all cultural heritage contexts, from library cataloguers and archivists to museum curatorial staff. It will also be of interest to students and academics within information science and digital humanities fields. IT managers with responsibility for information systems, as well as strategy heads and budget holders, at cultural heritage organisations, will find this a valuable decision-making aid.

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Author by Seth van Hooland
Genre eBook Language Arts & Disciplines
Read Book 224
ISBN Number 9781856049641

Death In The Sahara


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Desert explorer Michael Asher investigates the most disastrous exploration mission in the history of the Sahara. In 1880, the French government ordered a surveying expedition for a railway that would bring the fabulous wealth of Timbuktu, in French Sudan, to Paris. This trek should have heralded a new era of French prosperity. Instead, it was a deadly fiasco. Under-armed in hostile territory, and foolishly employing the enemy as guides, the one hundred men of the expedition were ambushed and stranded without camels or supplies in the deserts of southern Algeria. Many were killed outright, and for four months the survivors were menaced by the Tuareg, the "lords of the desert," robbed, starved, and tricked into eating poisoned fruit. To escape, the men hid in the wastelands of the Sahara with little hope of finding food or water. They were finally forced to eat their own dead, or, worse, the merely weak. Only a dozen malnourished men lived to tell their tale. The story of their 1,000 mile journey is one of the most astonishing narratives of survival ever recorded. With a "superb grip of narrative and uncanny ability to evoke battle scenes" (The Guardian), Michael Asher has written an amazing true story that is as dramatic as it is frightening. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

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Author by Michael Asher
Genre eBook History
Read Book 304
ISBN Number 9781510720169

Dear Fahrenheit 451


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A librarian's laugh-out-loud funny, deeply moving collection of love letters and breakup notes to the books in her life. If you love to read, and presumably you do since you’ve picked up this book (!), you know that some books affect you so profoundly they forever change the way you think about the world. Some books, on the other hand, disappoint you so much you want to throw them against the wall. Either way, it’s clear that a book can be your new soul mate or the bad relationship you need to end. In Dear Fahrenheit 451, librarian Annie Spence has crafted love letters and breakup notes to the iconic and eclectic books she has encountered over the years. From breaking up with The Giving Tree (a dysfunctional relationship book if ever there was one), to her love letter to The Time Traveler’s Wife (a novel less about time travel and more about the life of a marriage, with all of its ups and downs), Spence will make you think of old favorites in a new way. Filled with suggested reading lists, Spence’s take on classic and contemporary books is very much like the best of literature—sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes surprisingly poignant, and filled with universal truths. A celebration of reading, Dear Fahrenheit 451 is for anyone who loves nothing more than curling up with a good book...and another, and another, and another!

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Author by Annie Spence
Genre eBook Literary Criticism
Read Book 288
ISBN Number 9781250113887

Scales Of Gold


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With the bravura storytelling and pungent authenticity of detail she brought to her acclaimed Lymond Chronicles, Dorothy Dunnett, grande dame of the historical novel, presents The House of Niccolò series. The time is the 15th century, when intrepid merchants became the new knighthood of Europe. Among them, none is bolder or more cunning than Nicholas vander Poele of Bruges, the good-natured dyer's apprentice who schemes and swashbuckles his way to the helm of a mercantile empire. The year 1464 finds Nicholas back in Venice. Plagued by enemies bent on dissolving his assets and smearing his character, he sets sail for Africa, legendary location of the Fountain of Youth, home to a descendant of Sheba and Solomon, and the source of gold in such abundance that men prefer to barter in shells. He will learn firsthand the brutality and grandeur of the Dark Continent, from the horror of the slave trade to the austere nobility of Islamic Timbuktu. He will discover, too, the charms of the beautiful Gelis van Borselen--a woman whose passion for Nicholas is rivaled only by her desire to punish him for his role in her sister s death. Erotic and lush with detail, Scales of Gold embraces the complexity of the Renaissance, where mercantile adventure couples with more personal quests behind the silken curtains of the Age of Discovery. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Author by Dorothy Dunnett
Genre eBook Fiction
Read Book 544
ISBN Number 9780307762405