Collection C003 - Kenya National Archives microfilm collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Kenya National Archives microfilm collection

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  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on provenance of the collection.

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Dates of creation area


  • [196-] (Reproduction)
  • [1886-1962] (Creation)
    Kenya National Archives

Physical description area

Physical description

139 microfilm reels

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Administrative history

The Kenya National Archives, now known as the Kenya National Archives and Documentation Service (KNADS), was established in 1965 by an Act of Parliament. KNADS mission is to preserve and make accessible the information resources of the Republic of Kenya. Initially KNADS was placed under the office of the Vice President and the Minister of Home Affairs. Currently it is under the office of the Vice-President and the Ministry of State for National Heritage and Culture.

KNADS Director is John G. M’reria (2008-present). Past Directors include Mr. Musila Musembi (1991-2005) and Lawrence I. Mwangi (2005-2008). Past Archivists include: C. Bwye (Senior Registry Superintendent, 1956-1959), R. R. Mann (Archivist, 1960-1961; Controller of Office Services, 1961-1962), Derek Charman (Archivist, 1963-1965), Nathan W. Fedha (Government Archivist, 1965 – 1974), Maina Kagombe (Chief Archivist, 1974-1981), and Musila Musembi (Chief Archivist, 1982-1990).

Custodial history

The original documents were collected and microfilmed by Syracuse University in collaboration with Nathan Fedha, the Chief Archivist of Kenya, in the mid-1960s. The microfilms were purchased for Loyola College from the Kenya National Archives ca. 1972.

Scope and content

Mainly consists of archival materials documenting the actions and activities of the British colonial and the post-colonial governments in Kenya between the late 1880s through the early 1960s. 139 microfilm reels contain copies of thousands of government records, including annual and quarterly reports, intelligence reports, correspondence, secretariat circulars, and record books, amongst others. These once confidential records serve to document the economic, social, religious, and political upheavals in Kenya in the twentieth century leading to its independence from the United Kingdom in 1963.

The Collection is divided into 6 series, which were assigned to the documents when they were first microfilmed by Syracuse University:
C003/A Provincial and district annual and quarterly reports
C003/B Provincial and district record books
C003/C Provincial and district handing over reports
C003/D Correspondence
C003/E Intelligence reports
C003/F Secretariat circulars

Notes area

Physical condition

Microfilm reels generally in good condition. Some fading has occurred.

Immediate source of acquisition

Purchased from the Kenya National Archives ca. 1972.


Original order of the material has been maintained.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

    Location of originals

    Originals in Kenya National Archives and Documentation Service.

    Availability of other formats

    Restrictions on access

    Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

    No reproductions can be made in part or in full without prior written consent of the copyright holder.
    No material can be published in part or in full without prior written consent of the copyright holder.

    Finding aids

    Box list, indexes, and guides available.
    The following indexes are available: geographic, subject, and author.
    Unpublished guide to the collection prepared by Edward A. Collister (1977-1981).
    Other useful guide: Gregory, R.G., Maxon, R.M., & Spencer, L.P. (1968). A guide to the Kenya National Archives: to the microfilms of the provincial and district annual reports, record books, and handing-over reports, miscellaneous correspondence, and intelligence reports. Syracuse University Eastern African Bibliographical Series No. 3, Kenya. Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University.

    These resources are available for consultation in the Special Collections reading room.

    Associated materials

    Syracuse University Libraries’, Syracuse, New York, and the Center for Research Libraries, Chicago, Illinois, have microforms from the Kenya National Archives in their collections.

    Related materials


    No further accruals expected.


    Microfilm boxes replaced when necessary.


    Copyright held by the Kenya National Archives and documentation Service.

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