Book Bunk, the body that is spearheading the restoration of Kenya’s public libraries, has created a time capsule carrying the hopes and dreams of children who use the library. It has been buried in the grounds of Nairobi’s Eastlands library where it will remain until 21 July 2032.

Children of Nairobi’s library community were invited to write letters in which they shared their hopes for their country. What will be Kenya’s future in the coming decade, and how do they want to fit into it? What do they want from Kenya politically, socially, economically and culturally?

The time capsule has been designed by local visual artist Ami Doshi Shah and now sits buried within the library’s grounds. A record of the capsule has been captured at the International Time Capsule Society and Book Bunk believes it may be the first registered from Africa!”

The initiative is part of a number of projects aimed at preserving Kenya’s heritage and focusing on the experience of ordinary people. A project called ‘the Missing Bits’ is inviting people to add crowd-sourced audio and images to the #NRBLibraries digital archive. Organiser noticed that various aspects of daily life were not recorded in the material digitised at Nairobi’s librairies and the Missing Bits project seeks to fill those gaps.

Members of the public have been invited to visit the Kaloleni Library in Kaloleni, Eastlands Library in Makadara and the famous McMillan Memorial Library on Banda Street in the centre of Nairobi “to record conversations about your version of events surrounding key moments in your life and in Kenya’s history. You are also invited to bring your photos, letters and other personal archives, digitise these, and add them to these libraries’ digital collections”.

It is hoped that the material will form an important part of Kenya’s history, capturing memories which otherwise might be lost for ever.