The just recently revamped Nairobi National Museum is an excellent place to discover more about Kenya’s background and culture. The building of the current Museum Hill site started in 1929 as soon as the state set aside the stretch of land for it.
This Museum was legally open to the public on September 22, 1930 and even named Coryndon Museum, in honour of Sir Robert Coryndon, once governor of Kenya and also a staunch advocate of the Uganda Natural History Society. With the opening of the museum, the society moved its extensive library into the Museum complex. A portion of this collection made the foundation collection for what is currently the Herbarium.
In early forties and 50’s, the late Dr. Louis Leakey did a public appeal for funds to expand the Museum’s galleries. The result had been the construction of all the current galleries right of the main entrance. These were built in honor of the Nairobi community members who had contributions to the building. Today, you find the Mahatma Gandhi Hall, the Aga Khan and also the Churchill Gallery and others.
In the early sixties, the Nairobi Snake Park was made with the aim to educate people on snakes and the popular reptiles of Kenya. The Snake Park continues to be a big fascination in the Museum.
Around 1964, the Coryndon Museum modified its name in to the National Museums of Kenya. During 1969, the Museum grew its services and assets beyond Nairobi and started museums for Kitale, Kisumu, Meru, Lamu and Fort Jesus found in Mombasa.
In addition, the Institute of Primate Research also is closely linked to the Museum. All these regional museums possess its own name and designs unique programmes. From the late 1969, the Museums expanded and diversified. The Leakey Memorial building was opened in 1976 and even hosts the administration, archeology and palaeontology departments. This complex in addition holds an auditorium with a sitting capacity of nearly three hundred people and has to have several Museum functions. Furthermore during this period, research and development programs were made and begun. Such incorporated cooperation with the University of Nairobi plus the Institute of African Studies, specialising in ethnography and also cultural anthropology. The Education department initiated programmes for the numerous young children who visit the Museums each year. The Casting Department provides casts of essential fossil findings to Museums across the world, either for study as well as for exhibition.