The memorandum on the policy of the National Museum of Kenya on collections and maintenance of archives was initiated in 1967 and a full Archives programme of established in1980. The principle objectives were to rationalize the institutional records, acquire and preserve private records of individual scientist and organizations,with direct bearing on the functions and activities of the NMK. The Section activities fall in various areas: Records management, Archives management, preservation and conservation, and research and dissemination.


The Archive section has items collected since 1850 to date. These relate to natural history (Flora and Fauna) prehistory, culture, biodiversity, public administration etc. The collections are in form of slides, photographs, films, tapes and text literature. They are therefore of immense interest to Historians, Educationist, Cultural researchers and Public in general.

Records Management

The section ensures a NMK systematic and consistent records management from creation to disposition in the archives through standardized filing systems, retention and disposal schedules. This activity helps documentation of day-to-day NMK external and internal activities and transaction records and smooth transfer to archives records center. After processing records are mainly used by administration for reference.

Archives Management

The records that are deemed archival due to their historical, scientific and unique value are properly, cataloged and preserved under standard conditions in the NMK archive. They comprise both institutional and private collections and are used by both Museum scientists and the public for research. The collection holdings amounts to 5, 000 photographs (historical, scientific and ethnographical nature) and 300 linear meters of archival materials.  Others include 100 microfilms, 800 paintings and 100 audio tapes.

Particular collection of interest include:-

  1. Beacher collection (historical and photographic materials) 1850- 70’s.
  2. Cloude Hollis collection (Coastal heritage photographic collection) 1895- 1929.
  3. Joy Adamson Ethnographic and Botanical paintings
  4. A.K. Binks Collection
  5. W. brook collection
  6. G. Erskine collection
  7. East African Herbarium collection
  8. Pre-History of Research collection (L.S.B Leaky, Mary Leakey and Richard Leakey)
  9. The National Museums of Kenya history.

The Staff Include qualified archivists namely:-

  1. Immelda Kithuka (Head of Section)
  2. Geoffrey Iruri.

Contact Us

National Museums of Kenya Library

P.O.Box 40658 00100

Nairobi, Kenya

Tel: 3742131/4