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Archives & Rare Collection

The University of Nairobi Archive was officially designated as a place where public archives may be preserved through the publication of Kenya Gazette notice No. 3662 of 14th November 1974.

One of the main objectives of this unit is to assemble, for safe custody and research, any records, archives and other related material that contain any documentary evidence on the official activities of the University of Nairobi since its’ inception. The archive acquires its collection through periodic transfers from departments and donations from private individuals. The Archive section is located in the basement of Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library and opens from 8.00 am to 4.00 pm Mondays to Fridays. The University of Nairobi records preserved here goes back to the 1950s when the Royal Technical College was established.

The newspapers preserved here are dated from 1911 to the 1980s. The section houses machine-readable records such as microfilms, tapes and cassettes.

The archive collection consists of:

1. Historical records of the University of Nairobi since its inception.

  • Royal Technical College – 1950s
  • The University of East Africa- (1960s – 1970)
  • The University of Nairobi – (the 1970s – 1990s)
  • Personnel records (Closed personal files of lecturer grade, equivalent and above)
  • Colonial Newspapers.
  • Colonial Times  (1947 – 1961)
  • Ramogi Weekly (1959 – 1962)
  • The Kenya Daily Mail (1927 – 1959)
  • Tanganyika Times (1947 – 1950)
  • Uganda Argus (1955 – 1970)
  • Mombasa Times (1922 – 1964)
  • Daily Chronicles (Jan – Dec 1951)
  • Baraza (1955 – 1979)
  • Standard Tanzania
  • Sunday post (1962 – 1974)

2. Daily Newspapers.

  • Daily Nation  (1961 – 1985)
  • East African Standard (1911 – 1985) NB. 1930s & 1940s missing.
  • Kenya Times   (1983 – 1985)
  • Taifa Leo (1962 – 1985)

3. Private Collection.

These are records donated by the public to the University Archive and they contribute to the growth of the institution’s collection. The private papers contain a great deal of material that is of value to historians and students of our social and cultural background. The materials are dated from the 1920s to 1973 and are as follows.

  • Daly and Figgis files. – This collection comprises case files containing a wide range of legal activities carried out by the firm during the period 1918 – 1967.
  • Lambert papers - The collection comprises administration records of Meru and Kiambu land tenure, Swahili papers, Kikuyu traditional law and customs and legal notes dated 1908 – 1962.
  • Barlow papers – The collection comprises language notes, Kikuyu traditional law and customs, land tenure among the Kikuyu and press cuttings & pamphlets dated 1918 – 1958.
  • Hodge papers – The collection comprises records of Hodge’s life history in Kenya, photographs, papers created through the administrative processes within the farm. There are other records of Hodge acting as a District Commissioner dated 1914 – 1978.
  • Nancy J. Scott papers – The collection comprises of tape transcriptions done in Luo, songs for Christmas Eve dated 1984 - 1985
  • Eleanor Cole papers - The collection mostly comprises of letters concerning the returns of Kekopy Ranch and press cuttings, minutes of the murder case of Eric Pardoe who was the manager of the farm among others dated 1919 to 1961.
  • Margaret Elkington papers – The collection comprises of literature on horses at Masara stables, diaries, photographs & photo albums, cookery books, magazines and press cuttings dated 1906 – 1976.
  • Makhan Singh collection – The collection consists of correspondence and papers of trade union matters, Makhan’s detention proceedings, his drafts and writings and press cuttings among others dated 1923 – 1972.
  • Kimani papers – The collection consists of raw data collected during a project study on the growth of trade centres in Murang’a and Nairobi. The collection covers the growth of centres which include 216 in Murang’a and 55 centres in Nairobi dated 1971 – 1972.
  • Lord Francis Scott & Deloraine Estate papers - The collection consists of records of Lord and Lady Francis Scott farm, Derolaine estate, political papers of Lord Francis Scott and copies of journals of Lady Francis Scott dated ?????

4. Machine-Readable Records

  • Presbyterian Church of East Africa records – 62 reels
  • East African Standard
  • Great Britain Public Records office relating to East Africa protectorate
  • Theses on microfilm  - 1887 -1983
  • Compact cassettes.
  • Reel to reel tapes on cultural profiles and Broadcasts
  • The collection has been arranged for easy retrieval and access and guides are available for each collection.