Recently, the Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete (the University for Community Development) feels obliged, as part of its social responsibility to its host community, to embark on a rescue mission to salvage the rich Ilorin Emirate heritage and culture. To achieve this objective, an academic outfit known as the Centre for Ilorin Manuscripts and Culture” was established in October 2012. It is aimed at working on the collection, documentation and preservation of the rare manuscripts and rich cultural heritage of the Emirate. The Centre, which is purely academic and cultural, aims at collecting and preserving written materials and artifacts indigenous to Ilorin Emirate both for preservation and research purposes. It shall serve as a research centre, a repository, an archive and a mini-museum for Ilorin Arts and Monuments. Such materials to be deposited in the Centre shall include:
i. Ancient and contemporary Arabic manuscripts of Ilorin Emirate;
ii. Colonial and post-colonial official documents connected to the Emirate;
iii. Books, Projects, Dissertations, Theses and Journal Articles written on Ilorin Emirate;
iv. Books, Projects, Dissertations, Theses and Journal Articles written by indigenes of the Emirate;
v. Rare photographs of personalities and events in the Emirate;
vi. Ilorin war instruments and weaponry;
vii. Audio and Video Cassettes, CD ROMs and gramophone records of Ilorin traditional music;
viii. Audio and Video records of major events in Ilorin, past and present;
ix. Materials on Ilorin Arts and Crafts;
x. Local herbs indigenous to Ilorin;
xi. Disappearing local food and fruits such as Moin-Moin, Isin, Eha, Elegede, Konko, etc.;
xii. Artistic impression of traditional games such as Boko-boko, Dase, Kenge, Woowo, etc.
xiii. Photographs and\or artistic impressions of Ilorin people’s tribal\facial marks;
xiv. Photographic documentation of traditional architectures in Ilorin.
Though different aspects of Ilorin’s history and culture have continued to receive scholars’ attention over the years, it is, however, observed that a lot of archival records on Ilorin or manuscripts produced by the Ilorin has either been lost, buried or destroyed by various factors including termites, harsh weather conditions, natural or man-made disasters. Those materials that have survived are either scattered in various hands and places or are being actively endangered and on the verge of extinction or disappearance. In 2004, a non-governmental organization named Ilorin History and Culture Bureau was set up by a group of Ilorin indigenes. Its main mission was to rescue the historical and cultural heritage of the Emirate from total extinction. Little success was recorded in this regard due largely to financial constraints and lack of support from government, individuals and corporate bodies.