The colonial archive as material remains: Reflections on an "endangered archives project"

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Between January and April 2016, I was part of a British Library-funded project to restore, preserve, and digitize the archive of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA). The archive is held in a small room in the bell tower of St. Andrews church, Nairobi. The collection consists of the records of the colonial-era Church of Scotland Mission (CSM) and its successor institution, the PCEA, which was formed in 1956 when the African church became independent from the Scottish mission. It was my PhD research, on the colonial encounter between the missionaries of the CSM and Gikuyu during the first half of the twentieth century, that took me to the PCEA archive. Archives are not only important as repositories of information about the past. As sites where the material remains of the past are stowed and administrated, archives are dynamic places where history is invented and re-invented, where past and present are governed and controlled.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-34
Number of pages11
JournalAfrican Research and Documentation
Issue number131
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2017

Keywords

  • Presbyterian Church of East Africa
  • Church of Scotland Mission

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