• Contact Information

    • Name:

      Zanzibar National Archives, Department of Antiquities, Archives and Museum
    • Postal Address:

      POB 116
    • Location:

    • Telephone:

      (255) 30 342, 230342 & 235241
    • Facsimile:

      (255) 235241 or 233722
    • E-mail:
    • Director:

      Hamad Omar
    • Year founded:

  • Collections

    • Type of repository:

    • Types of source material:

      Archival records
      Grey literature
      Sound recordings
    • Size:

      almost 1 km
    • Holdings:

      The Zanzibar Archives are one of the oldest and richest archives in the East African region. It posseses basic material for the study of 19th century European contact with Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika and Zanzibar. There is also some Arabic correspondence earlier than the 19th century. The Archives include many subjects and languages.<br> Arabic Manuscripts and Books: Five hundred and twenty six copies of manuscripts and books date back to the 17th century and relate to various subjects such as astronomy, astrology, history, local medicine, etc. <br> Arabic Correspondence 1844 - 1964: Mainly Sultans' official correspondence both local and with foreign powers. Legal contracts, treaties, records from the palace, trade and transactions. <br> Consular Records 1841 - 1890: Original correspondence of the Consul and Consul General from 1841 when the first British Representative arrived in Zanzibar. Includes correspondence with Bombay, India, The Coast, Mombasa and Lamu Vice Consulates. <br> Protectorate Records 1890 - 1914: Correspondence of the Foreign and Colonial Offices, The First Minister and Zanzibar Government as well as material of the Imperial East Africa Company, East Africa Protectorate, Vice-Consulate of Dar-es-Salaam and Pemba, Foreign Representatives and the Board of Trade in London. <br> German Records 1833 - 1914: Correspondence of the Consulate of the Hanseatic League, Northern German Federation and the Consulate of the German Empire and the Bearmen Imperial Records. <br> International Maritime Bureau (IMB) 1892 - 1905: Register of ships. IMB was established at Zanzibar for the Centralization of Information on the Slave Trade (All records are in French). <br> Records of Explorers and Missionary 1848 - 1925: Archives and documents on various 19th century expeditions, e.g. I. Kraph and J. Rebman founders of the East Africa Mission of the Church Missionary Society; Speke and Burton on discovery of the River Nile; and on Livingstone. <br> Church Records: Mainly a collection of University Missions to Central Africa (UMCA) including a register of English cemeteries in the region. <br> Secretarial Records 1914 - 1962: Cover a wide range of subjects relating to Zanzibar Protectorate. <br> Contemporary Records 1962: These are accruing records of post independence era covering all ministries and other government institutions. <br> Photographs: Including former sultans, British and Foreign officials, famous and historically important persons, the slave trade, and post- independence affairs. <br> Maps and Plans 1846: Old and contemporary maps and plans of Zanzibar and some East African countries. <br> Stamps: Old stamps from Zanzibar and other countries with an accruing collection of recent stamps from Zanzibar and Tanzania. <br> Family History 1879 - : Registers of Births, Deaths and Marriages. <br> Gazette and Newspapers 1892 - : Copies of Zanzibar newspapers including official Gazettes. Also official Publications of East Africa and other countries. <br> Private Papers: Small collection of former Zanzibar officials such as Sir John Gray, J. T. Last, Spurrier, Ruete as well as miscellaneous papers of private organisations.

    • Receiving new material?

    • Languages:

      English, Arabic, Swahili, French
  • Access Conditions

    • Access conditions:

      Access is open to local researchers. Foreign researchers are required to have a research permit, which is available from the Principal Sectretary, Chief Minister's Office, P.O. Box 239, Zanzibar. TEL:255 54 230716/7

    • Access restrictions:

      30 years rule

    • Finding tools:

    • Copier available?:

  • Repository publications: