History: Africa: Virginia Tech Creates Digital Repository For Kenya Law Archive
Brett Shadle, associate professor of history at Virginia Tech, has partnered with Kenya Law and the Virginia Tech Discovery Commons to offer a freely accessible digital archive of the Kenya Gazette.
The Kenya Gazette is the official record of all laws, ordinances, and appointments made by the colonial and independent governments of Kenya.
The historic database currently covers the years from 1977 to 1989, and will eventually include all Kenya Gazettes published since the 1890s. Topics covered include the abolishment of slavery, the alienation of African lands for white settlers, and the prohibition of the anti-colonial Mau Mau movement.
The database is Virginia Tech’s contribution to the movement to provide free access to legal information in Kenya, pioneered by Kenya Law.
“Until now, the primary archive of Kenya’s printed law documents was located in the capital, and access to the Gazettes was restricted for anyone who couldn’t make a trip to Nairobi, or who wanted to download a complete digital copy for personal use,” said Gary Worley, director of the Discovery Commons online repository. “The new online repository will be very helpful, even allowing access via mobile devices.”
“The Gazettes are critical documents in Kenya’s history,” said Shadle. “Academics, court officials, government researchers, and members of the general public can trace changes in the law, and see how successive governments have worked to shape Kenyan society, economy, and politics. I have already received thanks from several scholars for helping to make these documents more easily accessible.”
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.