WE BUILD LIBRARIES

We are working to restore some of Nairobi's most iconic public libraries into sites of heritage, public art, collective memory, knowledge production, shared experiences, cultural leadership and information exchange.

Event Calendar

Eastlands Library

Missing Bits

Panel Conversations | Audio Booth Recordings | Film Screenings | Exhibitions

We are inviting anyone aged 5 years old and above to contribute to an archive anchored in public memory. Share your own and others’ past, present and hopes for the future with a larger public for generations to come! Did your Grandmother tell you stories about the music she listened to in the 1970s? Did an Uncle share stories about Kenya’s fashion scene in the 1980s? Perhaps a Parent told you about their Secondary school days? Let’s get these stories recorded and preserved! There are so many ways to get involved in building an archive that centres our own experiences and memories, so do please join us on this exciting journey!!!

 

Photo Credits: Paul Munene/Quaint Photography

Eastlands Library

Missing Bits

Record Your Story for Future Generations

Do you have a grandmother, an uncle or a friend who always seems to have the best stories about Kenya’s first Jamhuri Day? Or fashion in the 1960s? Or music in the 1970s? Everyone has a story and the libraries’ archives have room for them all! We are inviting members of the public to utilise audio booths and record their versions of events, in the ways only they can tell them! These stories will be recorded in audio format and uploaded (with your permission) on the archive site we have been building, currently consisting mainly of gazettes, ordinances, photographs and other material dating back to the late 1800s (You can access this here). This strand of archiving is inspired by Story Corps.

Photo Credits: Paul Munene/Quaint Photography

Eastlands Library

Missing Bits

Film Screenings with Docubox

In partnership with Docubox, we will host film screenings at all three libraries that speak to the thematics of the libraries’ digital collections and the gaps we are finding. Join us for an exciting line-up of films about archives, public memory, repatriation of items, collective history and other related themes. In some instances, these screenings will be accompanied by conversations with the cast or directors of these films, so don’t miss out! Take a look at what we’ve screened so far….

Photo Credits: Paul Munene/Quaint Photography

Eastlands Library

Missing Bits

Digitisation Booths

Visit these three libraries, where you can digitise your own personal archives (photo albums, letters and much more) at a digitisation booth. Book Bunk’s team will be on site to guide you through the process and have you digitising like a pro in no time! If you are eager to get started, this video can help you get going!

Play Video

Eastlands Library

Missing Bits

Film Screenings | Exhibitions

The archive we are currently digitising, brought to you as an exhibition of images by The Nest Collective! This exhibition will bring the libraries’ archive alive by showcasing a cross section of the material we have worked on so far including ordinances, gazettes, old newspapers (dating back to 1906!), photographs (dating back to the late 1800s!) and much more so stay tuned!

Library Tours

Book Bunkers will guide you through McMillan Memorial Library, Nairobi's oldest library, opened in 1931. Peruse the shelves of East African literature and periodicals from the early 20th century to present-day at and its branches in Eastlands, and get to experience these newly renovated spaces. You will explore Kenyan history-making in the adjacent Kaloleni Social Hall in Kaloleni where Kenya's first parliamentary election results were announced in 1963 and discover the birthplace of some of Kenya’s most iconic artists at the Eastlands branch in Makadara.

partners