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Audio Visual


Overview of the Audio-Visual Section

​​​​​​​Audio Visual (AV) records refer to sound and pictorial records. The AV section is responsible for the acquisition, processing, digitization, preservation and production of AV materials on demand and upon approval by the KNADS Director.

The Public Archives and Documentation Service Act, CAP 19, Section 4 (1) of the laws of Kenya (Rev. 1991:4) states that “the director and any officer of the service authorized by him/her, shall have the power to do all such things as may be necessary or expedient for the exercise of his/her duties and performance of this functions under this act or any subsidiary legislation made there under and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing.” CAP 19, Section 4 (1g) states that he/she “may make arrangements for the separate housing of films and other records which need to be kept under special conditions.”

The AV section houses the following information resources:

  • Maps, charts, and drawings
  • Photographs
    • The struggle for independence: Mau Mau freedom fighters, massacres, for example, the Lari massacre.
    • Social cultural activities: weddings, circumcision, traditional dances.
    • Geographical features.
    • Historical landmarks and buildings.
    • Religion, for example, ancient churches, missionaries.
    • Prominent personalities, for example, presidents, governors, colonialists, the queen, sultans, commissioners.
    • The early means of transport, for example, trains, canoes, etc.
    • Agricultural and fishing activities.
    • Education: the early schools, for example, Mary Leakey Girls School, Jeans school, etc
    • Industrial activities, for example, cement factories, mining.
    • Provincial administration, for example, DCs, PCs, Colonial chiefs.
    • Records management activities

Electronic records such as CD ROMs, DVDs

  • Photographic negatives and slides.
  • Moving images in formats include films and video tapes.
  • Sound recordings, for example, reel to reel, audio tapes/ cassettes that are rich in oral history, traditional folk songs, etc.

Major services provided by the AV section include:

  • Reference to the AV collection.
  • Training students on attachment.
  • Attending to visiting groups.

The audio-visual materials consist of:

  • Reel to reel films
  • Video home system cassettes
  • Umatic cassettes
  • Beta cam cassette
  • DV cam cassette
  • Audio cassette
  • Reel to reel audio tapes
  • Slides
  • CDs
  • DVDs
  • Maps
  • Photographs
  • Framed photographs

Equipment used to access these archives consist of:

  • Computer
  • Tape cassette deck/player
  • Mini hi-fi component system
  • Slide projectors
  • Reel to reel projectors
  • Nagra and grundig
  • Television set
  • Video tape recorder

Services to members of the public

  • Dissemination services
  • Referral services
  • Preservation
  • Reprographic services

Audio visual archives at KNADS comprise:

  • Reel Films
  • Audio /Visual tapes
  • Optical media 
  • Transparencies (slides and negatives)
  • 15,000 Photographs
  • 4,000 Maps, plans and charts

Acquisition of Audiovisual Archives and Records

Most of these materials are sourced from public offices. However, in our custody are private collections of historical significance to the nation bequeathed or donated by individuals and non-governmental organisations e.g. CMS, Beecher, Binns, Binks, Jomo Kenyatta among others.

Access to Audio Visual Holdings

The audio visual archives database and the materials can be accessed through the Search Room.