Off the coast of Kenya lies an island of the original Swahili settlements in East Africa. Lamu has become a significant centre for the study of Islamic and Swahili cultures. Funded by the British Library Endangered Archives Programme, Shamil Jeppie together with Norwegian colleague Anne Bang and Ethiopian student Hasan Kawo, have been running a project to catalogue the manuscript holding of a small library at the Riyadha madrasa in Lamu.
The Riyadha Mosque in Lamu, founded in the 19th century, is the longest continuously functioning and one of the most influential Islamic teaching institutions in the Swahili world. During his visit to Lamu in November 2012, Shamil and colleagues completed digitizing the entire manuscript collection consisting of unique copies on Islamic education in East Africa for the past 120 years. A total of 35,000 digital images of the full collection were generated.
The Riyadha Mosque, Lamu