A guest reads a description attached to a portrait of USIU-Africa’s first President Dr. William C. Rust, during the launch of the USIU-Africa Archives by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza, on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. PHOTO: ANTONIO LONGANGI
By Bonface Odhiambo
The Library and Information Center joined the global community in celebrating the International Archives Day by hosting the first annual USIU-Africa Archives Week from June 12 -14, to sensitize the University community on the existence, scope and value of archival materials and archival repositories.
To this end, the Library prepared a thematic display of exhibits that focused on a wide range of subjects comprising rare collections, classical records, past newspaper editions, pictorials and artefacts at the library atrium.
The highlight of the three-day celebration of the University’s documentary history, was the launch of the USIU-Africa Archives, as a new section of the Library and Information Center, at a ceremony presided over by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza. In his remarks, Prof. Zeleza reiterated the necessity of archives as an important repository of institutional memory, and a link between the past, present and future, promising to donate his personal archives to add to the University’s archival collection.In her keynote address, Kenya National Archives and Documentation Service Deputy Director Mrs. Mary Kuchio, described archives as “quiet voices with profound stories”. Using real-world anecdotes, she reminded the audience that archives ensure accountability, protect rights and property, and thus provide a pillar for effective institutional governance.
Gapman Publications’ Mr. Godfrey Sang, also explained the opportunities and challenges faced in researching modern archives, while Ms. Imelda Kithuka from the National Museums of Kenya, provided an overview of heritage archives management at the state corporation.
By launching the Archives, the Library hopes members of the university community will identify and avail for preservation, records and artifacts of enduring historical value. Indeed speakers at the Archives launch ceremony, urged their audience to embrace archives as a key component of academic research and institutional memory..