African Sound Archives

Giving the public access to African sounds


  • British Library (BL)
  • Kenya National Archives


The project aims to make the following sound archives available to
the public:

  • African heritage sound archives from the British Library
  • Audio-visual archives from the Kenyan National Archives

The project will also provide new input into the British Library collection and assist in the development of the Nairobi-based collection.

Key events: Workshops in London and Kenya

London 2008
The BL has one of the largest sound archives in the world. In 2008, it hosted a visit from representatives of Kenyan institutions who were seeking advice on establishing a national archive.

Kenya 2009
The World Collections Programme has enabled colleagues from the BL to participate in an exchange visit to gain an understanding of the facilities available in Africa.

During this exchange visit BL colleagues, in partnership with the National Museums Kenya and other archive, broadcast and university institutions, will provide hands-on training in a workshop on audio-visual archiving.

Ultimately it is hoped that a greater cultural dialogue and relationship will develop with audio-visual institutions in Kenya, and contribute to a national audio-visual archive for Kenya.