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Centre for Arabic Documentation (CAD) The Centre for Arabic Documentation was established in 1963 as an integral unit of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan. The initial proposals for this Centre were made during the First International Congress of Africanists held in Accra in 1962. The recognition of the fact that many of the peoples of sub-Saharan Africa have used Arabic for several centuries as an official and literary language for different types of written communications and the urgent need to collect and document Arabic materials existing in private hands gave impetus to the establishment of the Centre.

Hence, the Centre, the only one of its kind in the southern parts of Nigeria, was set up with a view to preserving Arabic documents because of their historical, religious, literary and cultural relevance to African Studies.

The preservation of Arabic documents has remained one of the major objectives of the Centre. The Centre also undertakes a systematic programme of recovering Arabic manuscripts that are held in private collections widely spread throughout Nigeria. It has become a research centre of excellence for scholars both within and outside Nigeria, and the Centre has been issuing a Research Bulletin in English and Arabic to give information on new accessions as well as discussing the value of these Arabic manuscripts.
In response to one of the challenges raised at the 3-day International Workshop on West African Arabic Manuscripts held between 3 and 5 October, 2012, as part of activities marking the 50th anniversary of our Institute, the CAD is now developing a curriculum for an academic Master's programme in Arabic Manuscriptology and Translation Studies.

Researchers in the Reading Room of the Center for Arabic Documentation (2017)