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Musembi, Musila. 1986. “Archives Development in Kenya.” Information Development 2 (4): 218–22.

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June 11, 2019

Critical Commentary

AO: This article by a Chief Archivist of the Kenya National Archives warns of the danger of accepting recommendations made by any (I assume foreign) expert who may not have had enough time to understand the context within which the archive is situated. He also argues against "local persons" (Kenyans in this case I assume) without the necessary knowledge in archives-keeping from being appointed to manage the service. The article goes into detail about the history of KNA and is particularly interesting in that it touches on the interpersonal politics between British archivists and consultants and Kenyan personnel. Musembi highlights the value that long-term engagement (as opposed to just a few weeks visit) between consultants and local staff. He writes: "the Kenyan experience has clearly demonstrated that archivists in both developing and developed countries must take extreme care in order to ensure that the role of archives consultants is not abused. it is vitally necessary to take into account the views of local experts, since no consultant can master everything within a short period."

I was unable to upload the full PDF because this paper is behind a paywall.

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English