January 22, 2020

Kenya National Archives Digitized by Google


By Nina Mulamba

According to a report via barakafm.org, the Google Cultural Institute in collaboration with the Kenya National Archives has launched a digitized version of the country’s National Archives. The report reveals that the initiative celebrates and promotes Kenyan history, Africa’s heroes and cultural heritage.

Minister for Sports, Culture and the Arts, Dr Hassan Wario officially launched the digitized collection from the Kenya National Archives on Google’s Cultural Institute.

“I officially launched the digitized collection of Kenyan artifacts by Google at the Kenya National Archives,” wrote Dr. Hassan Wario on his Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Google Cultural Institute is an initiative by the tech giant that was launched 4 years ago to ‘make the world’s culture accessible to anyone, anywhere’ as described in their website. It serves as a digital museum where you can discover several collections of artworks and artifacts from around the world.

The digitized national archives, artifacts and historical documents will now be accessible at the click of the button. This means that anyone can now interacting with the history of Kenya and other African countries such as Ethiopia, Madagascar, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria, as well as African heroes and heroines, art and culture.

The Google Cultural Institute will now host more than 1,000 archives and artworks as well as 15 curated exhibits that curators, historians and everyone anywhere can now virtually access the cultural treasures housed by the Kenya National Archives.

You can view the content in two ways; On desktop or mobile where you need to visit the Google Cultural Institute website and search for “Kenya National Archives” or if you have an Android phone, download the Kenya National Archives app on the Google Play Store.

When you explore the content posted on desktop, it reveals that there are 1,043 items that have been digitized which have been arranged in 8 different exhibits. The exhibits include:
1. Mashujaa Wetu: Heroes of the Kenyan Nation
2. African Carvings and Sculptures
3. Traditional African Weapons
4. Paramount Chiefs
5. Thomas Joseph Mboya
6. African Calabash Collection
7. Police Commissioners
8. Waswa Kinta Mosaic Collection

The Kenya National Archives app looks great thanks to the tools offered at Google Open Gallery which is tailored for archives, galleries and museums. It is a great initiative for the ministry to showcase our history to the world and also a chance for people to see the various collections that are found in our National Archives virtually.

The Google Cultural Institute currently supports over 850 cultural institutions in over 60 countries.

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