Okune, Angela and Trevas Matathia. 2019. "The Kenya National Archives." In Scholarly Memory in Nairobi, Kenya: Care for Sites and Sources, created by Angela Okune, Trevas Matathia and Syokau Mutonga. In Innovating STS Digital Exhibit, curated by Aalok Khandekar and Kim Fortun. Society for Social Studies of Science. August. https://stsinfrastructures.org/content/kenya-national-archives/essay
The Kenya National Archives (KNA) in its current form was established on the eve of Kenyan independence in 1963 and was formalized through an Act of Parliament in 1965. The holdings include documents generated from the 60-70 years of Kenya’s colonial administration by the British and government documents and research generated in the postcolonial period (although the archive makes materials public only after 30 years have passed). The Kenya National Archive is one of the few on the continent that successfully migrated its archives back from Britain; this stands in contrast to the fact that Syracuse University (USA) holds a microfilm collection of the Kenya National Archives. The microfilm project began in 1964 with a grant from the United States of America’s National Science Foundation. The Archive's ebbs and flows are well documented by scholars like Mnjama (2003).
This essay is part of a broader essay on Scholarly Memory in Nairobi, Kenya which includes McMillan Library, Kenya National Museum Library, British Institute in Eastern Africa Archives, Kenya National Archives, and PALIAct Ukombozi Library.
All Innovating STS exhibits are oriented by nine shared questions in order to generate comparative insight. These are:
ARTICULATION: What STS innovations (of theory, methodology, pedagogy...Read more
Furthering its theme, Innovations, Interruptions, Regenerations , the 2019 annual 4S meeting in New Orleans will include a special exhibit, Innovating STS , that showcases innovations ...Read more
This section highlights important perspectives raised by those engaging with the creation and maintainance of spaces and materials of archives and libraries.
Chief Archivist of the Kenya National Archives, N.W. Fedha (1972) wrote :
The National Archives is really a store of all the history of this country. A country without history is like a tree without roots. But then how can a country hope to preserve its history...Read more
This section foregrounds artifacts created about this site either by the founders, key actors involved in the site, or others. It also includes materials that are interlinked or related such as descriptions about the digital repository third-party organizations or relevant materials found in the spaces themselves.
AO: This article by Robert Gregory was linked to from the Syracuse Libraries website as providing more context for how Syracuse University came to hold the microfilm collection of/for the Kenya National Archives.
Abstract: "With the...Read more
AO: This article by Nathan Mnjama was published in 2003 and describes the challenges and successes of the Kenya National Archives.Read more
TM: This is a research report on the findings of the challenges faced by government ministries and state departments in Kenya. It contains a detailed report of findings from 157 research participants identifying the challenges that hamper effective government intersectionality in regard to...Read more
TM: Interesting peice that prepares the researcher of the wealth of resources at the Kenya National Archives. However, this archaival resources come at a price as the anthropologically romanticized struggle researchers face at the archives as they navigate the waters of the KNA is documented in...Read more
TM: A thesis that is an assesment of the e-readiness of KNADS and its impact on provision of Archival information to researchers with view with view to coming up with the best practise model to enhance access to archaival information. Read more
TM: This Guardian article describes the interesting predicament that is happening at Britain's archives especially in matters surrounding Britain's colonial past. This has interesting insights on the lives of the people it affects namely, the people who bore the brunt of Emperial Britain and the...Read more
AO: In February 2019, I came across this document written in 1972 by one of the early chief archivists of the Kenya National Archives (N.W. Fedha). The document outlines the early history of the Kenya National Archives as well as the rationale and motivation for its creation...Read more
AO: This brief Daily Nation article from May 31, 2019 outlines the history of the building and describes how: "[b]y offering internships, attachments and volunteer opportunities to youth, the Archives continues to play a critical role in the lives of Kenyans." I included the article to...Read more
AO: This is a pdf of the Syracuse University Libraries' website which they states serves as a guide to the Kenyan National Archive collections at Syracuse University Libraries. I also included a sub-page within the site which describes how Syracuse University libraries partnered with KNA...Read more