In 1853, Heinrich Barth visited Timbuktu, and ‘was so successful as to have an opportunity of pursuing a complete history of the Kingdom of Songhay. … These annals, according to the universal statement of the learned people of Negroland, were written by a distinguished person of the name of Ahmed Baba’. With this chronicle at his disposal, Barth was able, for the first time, to present a meaningful outline of the history of the Songhay empire. Circumstances prevented Barth bringing back a complete copy of the manuscript. In the 1890's, however, following the French occupation, three manuscripts of that chronicle reached Paris, to be edited by 0. Houdas and E. Benoist, translated by Houdas, and published in 1898–1900. Houdas proved that this chronicle, Ta'rīkh al-Sūdān, had been written not by Ahmad Bābā; but by another scholar of Timbuktu, ‘Abd al-Rahmān al-Sa'dī, born in 1596. The chronicle ends in 1655, which may be taken as the date of its completion.