Chinguetti is a small town in Mauritania. It's been getting smaller because of the gradual expansion of the Sahara. But it was once a thriving settlement and, due to its beautiful mosque, a pilgrimage site since the Thirteenth Century.
It was once a rich intellectual center, so Chinguetti has a substantial library of about 1,300 Koranic manuscripts. That library is a treasure trove of rare books that have survived for centuries in the dry air.
-via Erik Krawkkel