Al-Aqsa mosque library

In the 1920s, an urgent call went out to the literati across the Middle East from Arab leaders in Jerusalem: Send us your books so that we may protect them for generations to come. Jerusalem was soon flushed with writings of all kinds, to be stored and preserved at the newly minted al-Aqsa mosque library. But many of those centuries-old manuscripts are in a state of decay. Now religious authorities are restoring and digitizing the books, many of them written by hand. They hope to make them available online to scholars and researchers across the Arab world who are unable to travel to Jerusalem.

Read More: Old Manuscripts Get Face-Lift at Jerusalem Mosque