Timbuctoo, New Jersey

Location: Westampton Township, Burlington County, New Jersey, United States

“Timbuctoo [New Jersey] was founded by freed blacks and escaped slaves in the 1820s. It was probably named after Timbuktu, the town in Mali near the Niger River, Although researchers are still trying to find out how and why it got its name. The neighborhood still exists in the township of Westampton, N.J., about a 45-minute drive northeast of Philadelphia, an enclave of many acres, so tiny and tucked away that when you ask someone at the store two miles away, he tells you he has no idea where it is. Timbuctoo has always been a secret kind of a place. Had to be, because it was part of the Underground Railroad. There are newer houses here now where some descendants of original settlers still live. But much of the physical history of Timbuctoo is buried underground. Based on a geophysical survey, archaeologists believe that foundations of a whole village of perhaps 18 houses and a church dating back to the 1820s lies beneath layers of dirt…” DeNeen Brown  Washington PostTuesday, August 3, 2010


Timbuctoo, New Jersey


Timbuktu, Mali

“Home of the prestigious Koranic Sankore University and other madrasas, Timbuktu was an intellectual and spiritual capital and a centre for the propagation of Islam throughout Africa in the 15th and 16th centuries. Its three great mosques, Djingareyber, Sankore and Sidi Yahia, recall Timbuktu’s golden age.”  World Heritage Convention


Ancient Manuscripts from the Desert Libraries of Timbuktu.” Library of Congress Exhibition. July 25, 2003. Accessed October 8, 2010.

Hunwick, John. and Alida Jay Boye. The Hidden Treasures of Timbuktu : Rediscovering Africa’s Literary Culture. Thames & Hudson, 2008.

Jeppie, Shamil and Souleymane Bachir Diagne. The Meanings of Timbuktu. Human Sciences, Research Council, 2008.

Kessler, Cristina. Trouble in Timbuktu.  Philomel Books, 2009.

Maseko, Zola. 
The Manuscripts of Timbuktu. California Newsreel, 2009.

Photo: Archaeologicalconservancy.org