Kenya National Archives

Kenya National Archives and Documentation Services (KNADS) is situated at the edge of the central business district in downtown Nairobi along Moi Avenue next to Ambassadeur Hotel. It was established in 1965 and It holds 40,000 volumes. It was established by an Act of the Parliament of Kenya in 1965 and was placed under the office of the Vice President and the Minister of Home Affairs. It is currently under the office of the Vice-President and State Department for National Heritage and Culture. The Kenya National Archives building also houses the Murumbi Gallery which contains African artifacts that were collected in the 19th century.

Its mission is to offer consultative records management services to the public service; acquire and preserve valuable public as well as private records as part of the national documentary heritage; and ensure timely accessibility of records and archives to users.

Kenya national archives will examine public records and advice on the care, preservation, custody and control, avail published indexes and guides to calendars and texts of all public archives authenticate copies of and extracts from public archives, lend any public archives for display at commemorative exhibition or for other special purposes and issuance of research permits for preserved archival records

It will also authorize for destruction of valueless public records, digitizing of documents, retrieve audiovisual material (photographs and maps). Give access to group visits to the archival sections and entry to the Murumbi gallery. It will spearhead conservation and restoration services through binding, salvage of wet documents and De-acidification and repair of documents

The gallery is situated at the ground floor of the Kenya National Archives building and it is named after Joseph Murumbi, who was the second vice president of Kenya. It is currently the largest Pan-African art gallery in Africa and it contains ancient art collections from different regions and communities of Africa. The collected artifacts were acquired by the government of Kenya after a concessionary arrangement was agreed upon with Joseph Murumbi, who had initially turned down several huge offers to buy his collections by overseas bidders.

To excel as an archives service in view of all Kenyans, and to serve as the Memory of the Nation.

To preserve valuable public records as part of the information resources of the Republic of Kenya, and to make them accessible to present and future generations. To fulfill this mission, the Kenya National Archives and Documentation Service continues to:

  • Advise public offices on proper records management.
  • Select valuable records for permanent preservation as archives.
  • Store and preserve archives in the repositories.
  • Publicize availability of information resources in our custody through computerization of indexes, digitization, World Wide Web; and through use of other communications and information technologies.
  • Promote access to public records and archives for reference and research purposes, or just for leisure and enjoyment.