Directorate Brief


The Directorate of Research and Collection (DRC) is the research arm of NMK which is vested with the core function of conducting research on the cultural and natural heritage of the country as well as collecting and managing the national collection. The Directorate has existed since the concept of a museum in Kenya was started with collections by the early nature enthusiasts. The current Directorate’s name came into being after the last organizational restructuring which was implemented in 2007.

The DRC is vested with the mandate of developing and implementing research projects that are focused on a sustainable use, conservation and preservation of Kenya’s heritage. The collection that arise from the research and collection activities are identified, deposited and curated in the directorates’ repositories. These form the core of national reference collection of natural as well as cultural heritage and are the basis for education, research and conservation in the various fields covered.

Research activities and programmes undertaken in the Directorate result in a steady stream of scholarly publications, a wealth of grey literature and increased national reference collection which is currently estimated over four million. Capacity for research comprises some 35 Doctorate and over 57 Master degree level officers. The Directorate, furthermore, plays a key role in education, training and public awareness. It provides specialized training at several levels to strengthen the national capacity to conduct heritage research work. A significant number of research staff members are often called upon by local universities to offer specialized courses whose expertise is only available at NMK.

Through its grant-making activities, the Directorate contributes to the fund raising initiative of the organization. The directorate is responsible for Kenya’s international/ Multilateral Environmental agreements and conventions, namely Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna. NMK serves as the Scientific Authority for Ramsar convention for which is the National Focal Point. In order to perform its roles effectively, the Directorate of Research and Collections has the following six research departments:

Botany department :

Generation, documentation and dissemination of plant and fungi collection, knowledge, information and innovations.

Centre for Biodiversity:

Development and implementation of sustainable biodiversity, environmental and indigenous knowledge systems, policies, technologies and innovations.

Cultural Heritage department:

Generation, documentation and dissemination of cultural and indigenous knowledge systems, policies, technologies and innovations.

Earth Sciences department :

Generation, documentation and dissemination of knowledge about our common ancestry in the context of geological and environmental change.

Resource Centre:

Collection, documentation, re-packaging, preservation and dissemination of heritage information, knowledge and innovation.

Zoology department:

Generation, documentation and dissemination of zoological collection, knowledge, information and innovations.

Collection Registry:

To enhance appreciation of the natural and cultural diversity of Kenya by organizing and disseminating NMK collections and collection information for research, education and recreation.

DRC Staff List

For information about permits, rules and regulations click here