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Syracuse University Libraries

Kenya National Archives: History

The Kenya National Archives is a collection of documents of the Kenyan government during the colonial period to independence.


The Kenya Archive collections include archival material, many once confidential, of the colonial and post-colonial government of Kenya up to the early 1960's. "They provide a full account of the social, political, economic, and religious problems of development in equatorial Africa". (Foreword, v.)  Documents within the collection also include a large number of microfilm reels of newspapers, journals, and papers of assorted associations. Syracuse University is one of two repositories of the complete microfilm collection of the Kenya National Archives of materials up to the time of independence from colonial rule in Kenya. The other collection is owned by the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) in Chicago.

Historical Perspective

The collection was produced in the 1960's through a joint grant with the National Science Foundation, the government of Kenya, and the Program of Eastern African Studies of Syracuse University, (no longer in existence).The documents were collected and microfilmed by Syracuse University faculty and graduate students as well as the Chief Archivist of Kenya in the mid-sixties, and sent to the Syracuse University Library in 1966 and 1967.

A more complete description and history of the collection can be found in the Syracuse University Libraries' Associates Courier, Vol. XIX, Number 2, Fall 1984, pp. 29-59.
You can also view the article through the Syracuse University Libraries' SURFACE repository.

A Critique of Syracuse University's Aquisition of the Kenya National Archives