Out and about at Kenya National Archives

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Niko hapa Archives, Tupatane hapo nje ya Archives are peculiar Nairobi conversations. Whether you are a newbie or a city dweller, you must have used this marvellous building to explain your location. The National Archives building is located on Moi Avenue, opposite Hilton Hotel.

What really is the Kenya National Archives aside from being the meeting point of choice for many? A short history will help unravel this.

Joseph Murumbi, the second vice president of the Republic of Kenya (3 May 1966- 31 November 1966) is famous for his art collection. As a pioneer, he is credited with most of the art collections found at the Murumbi gallery.

History has it, he met another art enthusiast, Alan Donovan whom established African Heritage which opened doors to other top artists such as the famous sculptor Elkana Ongesa, Lady Magdalene Odundo, Expedito Mwembe and others. After resigning from government, he dedicated time to establishing an archive to preserve the history and culture of Kenya and the larger East African region. The story of the establishment of the Archives cannot be told without  mentioning  Joseph Murumbi!

 As you walk in, your eyes will be enthralled by the setup. Featuring several sections, the ground floor introduces you to the rich world of artefacts, sculptors, ornaments and fashion from Kenya and the region.

The Wangari Mathaai corner magically drives you the world of the first Kenyan Nobel Laureate and famous environment activist. Winner of several environmental and leadership accolades her astounding courage to protect and conserve the environment is well documented.

On the upper floors, you will find historical information from the pre-colonial era to the struggle for independence and late into the 2000s. A classic example is a photo exhibit showing a list of Police Commissioners from way back to the present.


The presidential seat and standard used by the late Jomo Kenyatta will leave you in awe. Get up close with former Kenyan General Daniel Opande who donated some of his souvenirs to the Archives. Most of the mementoes are from his peacekeeping missions from across the globe. From the sword of command, his photo as a young officer and much more.

The stamp collection brings with it an aura of nostalgia, though stamps are no longer trendy because letter writing has become obsolete, you will learn so much from the stamps collet

 Archives hosts researchers and persons interested in curating historical information.

As you walk out you get to understand apart from just being a former Indian Bank building, there is so much to learn.

If you would like to visit residents pay Kshs 50 while non-residents pay Kshs 200, a membership fee of Kshs 200 for those who would like to use the library.






1 Comment

  1. Veronica

    June 21, 2018 at 9:15 am

    As an information scientist i truly appreciate the National Archives….
    There are lots of people who do not know of its importance

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