Scholarly Memory in Nairobi, Kenya: Care for Sites and Sources

Extending the 2018 STS Across Borders analytic question investigating the scholarly infrastructure that has supported the growth of STS on the African continent, this exhibit looks at sites of scholarly memory practices (Bowker 2008) in Nairobi, Kenya to ask how qualitative research data are being cared for, by whom and for whom. Tacking between the materials found in the very places highlighted and the rationale behind the creation of these spaces, this exhibit offers snapshots from the exhibit creator’s ongoing fieldwork research in Nairobi and includes images, texts, and interview data from and about the Kenya National Archives, British Institute of Eastern Africa (BIEA), McMillan library, and PALIAct Ukombozi library, among others. How has the purpose(s) and care of libraries and archives shifted over time in Nairobi? What are the implications for contemporary scholarly communications and the circulation of knowledges today? The exhibit uses these materials to track shifts and changes to public research data capacity that have and continue to influence the conduct of social science in the city, country, and region.

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