One need not go to West African or anywhere else to contribute to research of manuscripts that contain instances of African languages written in Ajami (that is, Arabic characters).
What follows is a list of the most prominent collection of Ajami texts and or resources available on the internet that I could find.
NOTE: An easier-to-read and open-access PDF of this post is available here.
Inventory of the Umarian Library (AKA Fonds Archinard, which includes Umar Tal’s collection from 1890): https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k1301519/f3.image
Catalogue des manuscrits arabes du fonds de Gironcourt (1878-1960): https://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb43855829f
Guide to collection (newer introduction than the above link and includes a link to search their catalogue): http://libguides.northwestern.edu/c.php?g=492192&p=3366800. Most in Arabic. Some Hausa, Fulfulde, Wolof, Dagbani and Gonja. From Northern Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal in late 19th and early 20th centuries. Can be searched but not viewed online.
Collected by Wilks. Photocopies of what he deposited at University of Ghana and used for books on Gonja and Wala in northwestern Ghana.
Same as BU Ajami Library collection for Wolof. Includes Quran that Jeremy investigated in his article.
Digital Preservation of Mandinka Ajami Materials of Casamance, Senegal (EAP1042; same as BU Mandinka)
Only significant collection of Manding manuscripts that is currently accessible online.
Safeguarding Fulfulde ajami manuscripts of Nigerian Jihad poetry by Usman dan Fodio (1754-1817) and contemporaries (EAP387)
Trinity College Dublin
Use the digital collections link to search for “Arabic manuscript” and then find the following shelf marks which are online and include Soninke and Mandinka Ajami as identified by Darya: IE TCD MS 3499, 3500, 2179, 2689.
They also have mss with Ajami Hausa: e.g. 2258 and 3335.
Leiden University Library, ms OR. 14.052 (with glosses in Soninke) (http://hdl.handle.net/1887.1/item:1567357)
Bibliothèque Universitaire des Langues et Civilisations (BULAC)
Manuscrits arabes (https://bina.bulac.fr/items/browse?collection=1)
Twenty-seven digitized manuscripts.
MS.ARA.610bis: Fulani Ajami (names of plants)
Brief introduction and then exclusively Wolof documents from Ngom’s documentation efforts. Not clear how distinct from the other stuff of his that is out there.
Diversity and Tolerance in the Islam of West Africa (http://aodl.org/islamictolerance/about.php)
Ajami in the Senegambia
Profiles by Ngom of different Ajami scholars along with texts, transliterations and media files.
Northern Factors in Asante History
Some Wangara interviews and pictures connected to Bobo-Dioulasso and Marhaba of Kong.
Qadiri Community of Buh Kunta
Pluralism and Adaptation in the Islamic Practice of Senegal and Ghana (http://aodl.org/islamicpluraxlism)
A continuation of the “Diversity and Tolerance” project listed above; Includes Ajami documents that can be searched via browse)
Discourses of Muslim Scholars in Colonial Ghana
This gallery consists of English translations of Arabic and Hausa texts written by Al-hajj Umar ibn Bakri, a West African Muslim scholar of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Al-hajj Umar was a member of a Hausa Muslim family from Kano, Nigeria, who resided most of his adult life in Kete-Krachi, a town in what would be in today’s Ghana. His poems, considered some of best examples of Arabic expression in West Africa in this era, comment on European colonial rule, the activities of Muslim leaders, and other topics.
Includes file with approximate translation
Failed Islamic States in Senegambia
English translation of verses from ‘ajami poem of Mohammadou Aliou Tyam celebrating the triumph over and entry into the Bambara capital of Segu in 1861.
Galleries of photographs, audio interviews, and documents contributed by scholars, with research about best practices for international, multilingual digital repositories. List of galleries with descriptions: http://aodl.org/westafrica/galleries.php
Includes African language interviews and translations that Curtin did.
Potentially interesting photos of typical Jula style mosques etc.
The history and culture of Futa Toro, Senegal and Mauritania: http://aodl.org/westafrica/futa2.php
Includes Ajami materials for Fulani, Hausa and Swahili. “Bamanankan” is only in N’ko.
Started by Charles Stewart
19,000 manuscripts from eleven different collections
Collaboration with Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation
Used to catalogue Northwestern collections
This collection includes some Ajami material, including children’s books in Hausa. While cataloging of this collection is a work in progress, a partial listing of books is available here (http://www.bu.edu/library/files/2015/04/Niger_Book_Donations.pdf)
The list lists works that are Arabic or Ajami—could search and put into a post
Often (or always?) overlaps with the EAP collections
Digital repository at University of Freiburg in collaboration with University of Tubingen
2,500 Arabic manuscripts from Mauritania
Digitized from microfilms collected between 1979 and 1997
2003 digital copies from the Mamma Haidara Library and Cheikh Zayni Baye Library in Boujheba, Mali.
Sign up for account to view for free
Digital copies of Savama-DCI from between 2013-2016
As of November 6, 2018: 7612 digitized but not catalogued from Aboubacar Bin Said Library; 20628 in process of being digitzed from the Mamma Haidara Library
As of November 6, 2018, 1471 from Mamma Haidara Library (2017-02-24) and 1492 from Aboubacar Bin Said Library (2017-07-31) are digitized, catalogued and viewable.
SOAS Digital Collections
Hausa Language Resources
Includes a History of Samory
Borno and Old Kanembu Islamic Manuscripts
The Niger Artisans Project consists of 12 candid conversations with artisans working in Niamey, Niger. The artisans featured here fall into a category more closely related to the corresponding Hausa term ma’aikatan hannu, or people who work with their hands. Each interview includes a transcription in Ajami.
A page that includes bibliographies about BU’s holdings related to Ajami for the following languages: Swahili, Hausa, Kanuri, Joola, Fulani as well as a general Ajami references.
BU Library Guide
A guide for researchers and students that lists potential Ajami resources that exist online.
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library Guide
“This guide was created to help researchers locate manuscripts originating from West Africa, written in Arabic or in Ajami – a modified Arabic script used to write African languages. Here you will find information on our holdings here at the University of Illinois; electronic resources available for use; as well as archival holdings both in the United States and abroad.”
Super detailed guide covering manuscripts at Illinois, Electronic Resources and a brief overview of physical archives in West Africa and elsewhere.
Ngom, F. (2017). West African Manuscripts in Arabic and African Languages and Digital Preservation. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History. http://www.bu.edu/pardeeschool/files/2017/10/Oxford-Research-Encyclopedia-article.pdf
Expansive article that tries to lay out the history and current state of West African manuscripts.