The Djenne manuscripts are in Arabic script and the great majority of them are also in the Arabic language. However, there are also some manuscripts written in the local languages Fulfulde, Bozo or Songhai.
The majority of the manuscripts date between the 16 – 19th centuries (Gregorian). A large number are undated and some are incomplete. The documents are mostly copied by the Marabouts of Djenne, often the ancestors of the present owners who have deposited them at the Library.
The Djenne manuscipts are similar in subject matter to those of Timbuktu, its ‘’twin sister’’, although certain interesting differences have been noted.
The manuscripts deal with subjects such as: theology, jurisprudence, medicine, history, literature, astronomy, astrology, private correspondances and a substantial number of esoteric texts.