Curation of ethnographic collections at the Nairobi Museum, Kenya.
This study was carried out at the National Museums of Kenya Nairobi and aimed at investigating the reasons why the Nairobi museum Ethnographic collections are not properly stored, documented, preserved and conserved. The subjects of the study were sampled from the over forty thousand ethnographic collections that are classified on the basis of materials used in their manufacture. The five categories namely, wooden, leather, metallic, textile and basketry were studied. Stratified sampling method was used and data were collected using various instruments that included conducting interviews, questionnaires, direct observation and group discussion. Secondary data were also reviewed While museum has experienced and knowledgeable staff, lack of proper storage facilities, non implementation of its research and collection management policy, lack of collection policy in the department of Ethnography as well as lack of resources and staff motivation were found to threaten museum ethnographic collections. The study recommends proper storage methods and additional facilities to decongest the storerooms, implementation of the National Museums of Kenya's collection management policy, motivation of staff and training of staff on modern principles of documentation, care, preservation and conservation of ethnographic collections.