"Some manuscripts date back almost 1,000 years," said Ahmed al-Alyawi, who heads the House of Manuscripts body. Iraqi antiques and cultural heritage have often been plundered during decades of conflict.
Conservators in Iraq's National Museum are carrying out a major restoration project in an effort to preserve and digitise 47,000 manuscripts.
The House of Manuscripts' collection includes texts written in Arabic, Persian and Hebrew -- and some are said to date back almost 1,000 years.
In a country that bears the scars of decades of conflict and has seen antiquities and cultural heritage regularly plundered, the House of Manuscripts' collection has managed to survive.
It was safely stashed away in the Baghdad suburbs, while the National Museum was ransacked in the turmoil following the 2003 US-led invasion.
Employees and residents prevented subsequent looting attempts at the "underground shelter" where it was stored, according to the head of the House of Manuscripts body.
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