National Museums of Kenya

A series of training and capacity building initiatives to support partnership programmes with the National Museums of Kenya


  • British Museum (BM)
  • National Museums of Kenya (NMK)
  • Natural History Museum, London (NHM)


  • To enable staff exchanges between London and Nairobi and facilitate work placements.
  • To develop a partnership between the Nairobi Museum and the Natural History Museum
  • To re-develop the cultural heritage storage facilities and support the development and delivery of temporary exhibitions at the Nairobi National Museum.
  • To build capacity in key areas including collections care and documentation.

BM headline activities:

Over a period of two years a team from the British Museum’s Africa Programme has worked with colleagues in the Cultural Heritage Department at NMK to renovate a major storage facility for ethnographic objects. The project has aimed to build NMK staff capacity in collections care and to improve environmental and security conditions. Throughout the project the team has sought to identify local suppliers and materials to ensure long term sustainability. The building also houses a seminar/study room, office, workshop and wet room.

As well as delivering training in Kenya the BM has also hosted a series of work placements for colleagues from the departments of Cultural Heritage, Exhibitions, Marketing, Public Programmes and the Directorate at NMK. They have each spent between 2-6 weeks at the BM and in UK regional museums working on a wide range of research, exhibition and storage projects. A key priority has been exhibition design, mount-making and installation. The skills acquired during this training have been extremely useful in enabling NMK staff to mount two permanent galleries: Cycles of Life and the History of Kenya in the newly extended National Museum in Nairobi and an upcoming temporary exhibition Kanga Stories in Nairobi Gallery.

Images: Ethnography store in 2008 with objects removed. Renovated store in 2010.

Image: Kanga Stories workshop in Nairobi, December 2010 [to be supplied]

Ethnography store in 2008 with objects removed, show a large version of this image

Renovated ethnography store in 2010 with objects removed