The Centre for Trans-Saharan Studies of the University of Maiduguri, together with Northern Nigerian manuscript conservator Michaelle Biddle, established a Manuscript Conservation Laboratory to preserve and conserve the collection of the Centre and the manuscripts privately owned by local families. The documentary heritage of the region is at risk due to the violent insurgence of the Jihadist militant organisation Boko Haram. The City of Maiduguri was one of the cities in which the fighting was the heaviest. The building of the Centre was damaged and the collection is in a too fragile condition to be moved or currently digitalized, putting it at great risk. Manuscripts owned by families in the region are abandoned while fleeing the violence.
The Manuscript Conservation Laboratory of the Centre for Trans-Saharan Studies will offer a safe place for the collection and the manuscripts currently owned by families, where they can be conserved, restored and digitalised. The Laboratory will also contribute to their long-term preservation by offering workshops and trainings to local students, experts and others interested. CER support will contribute to the establishment of the laboratory, the conservation of the most fragile manuscripts, the training of the Lab personnel and the workshops for the local family owners on the preservation of their manuscripts.