Virginia Tech Creates an Online Archive of the Kenya Gazette

VTlogoVirginia Tech has established an online searchable database of issues of the Kenya Gazette. The Kenya Gazette is an official government publication containing notices of new legislation, notices required to be published by law or policy as well as other announcements that are published for general public information. The Kenya Gazette is published every Friday and may be compared to the Federal Register in the United States.

The historic database currently covers the years from 1977 to 1989, and will eventually include all issues of the Kenya Gazette published since the 1890s. When completed the online archive will include more than 4,000 issues of the Kenya Gazette. Topics covered in the Kenya Gazette include the abolishment of slavery, the alienation of African lands for white settlers, and the prohibition of the anti-colonial Mau Mau movement.

The Kenya Gazette archive project is under the direction of Brett Shadle, an associate professor of history at Virginia Tech. Dr. Shadle states that “the Gazettes are critical documents in Kenya’s history. 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.”

“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 Virginia Tech Discovery Commons online repository. “The new online repository will be very helpful, even allowing access via mobile devices.”

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