A Brief on Arewa House Museum
The Museum is one of the academic units of Arewa House. It is made up of a big central hall and twelve satellite galleries, designed to project the life and times of the late Sir Ahmadu Bello, his associates and the history and culture of the north generally. To sustain visitors’ interest in the Museum, periodic exhibitions were supposed to be mounted. In 2011 an exhibition titled ‘’The Making of Northern Nigeria, 1914-1966’’ was mounted to provide visitors with insights into the various phases in the evolution of northern Nigeria up to 1966 when Ahmadu Bello was assassinated. There was another one in 2012, titled: ‘’Sir Ahmadu Bello and Kaduna Textiles Limited: A Historical Exhibit,’’ highlighting Ahmadu Bello’s vision and drive for the industrial development of northern Nigeria with particular reference to the textiles sector of the economy. This exhibition was in collaboration with a foreign researcher, which needs to be encouraged in order to create the much needed local and international linkages, necessary for the development of the Museum. In the satellite galleries the exhibitions reflect the individual Northern states, their civilisations and cultures. Exhibitions in the satellite galleries are the responsibilities of the 19 northern. Periodic updates of galleries suffered a setback. The much awaited Sardauna Gallery came into effect in 2011 following the renovation of the official Residence of the late Ahmadu Bello and its restoration to the state it was in 1964 when it was last refurbished. The Conference room attached to the Sardauna Gallery and used by the Sardauna for meetings was renovated and furnished just recently. In view of its location within the gallery, it was felt that there was the need to restrict the public from easy access to it by limiting its usage for official meetings and particularly, for museum education programs. Revenue is generated through admission fees and reproduction of historical photographs which are all receipted.
Collections:The Museum is in possession of over 2,000 artifacts of various forms. These were classified and an inventory of such artifacts was produced. The digitisation of the artifacts is in the process.
Plans were in the pipeline for the establishment of a multi-media laboratory to enhance learning experiences in the Arewa House Museum.
Arewa House Archives Collections
• Records from the Premiers office and the Colonial records from Secretariat of Northern Provinces from 1900-1957, as well as Executive Council Papers (over 12,000 files).
• Colonial records, such as Correspondences, Treaties, Intelligence Reports, Confidential Reports, Assessment Reports on Political, Educational, Economic Development, Agricultural, Chieftaincy and Religious Matters, Boundaries and Land Matters, Personal Files, Reports of Constitutional Conferences, Laws and Administrative records.
A few of the records it holds are:
• Records of the Premiers Office 1959-1966
• Colonial Records of the Secretariat Northern Provinces 1900-1957
• Legislative debates of defunct Assemblies/House of Chiefs 1948-1966
• Legislative proceedings, policy papers, speeches and addresses 1948-1966
• Gazettes of Federal and Regional Governments 1900-1967
• Reports of Committees of Enquiry, audit and final reports 1900-
• Local daily newspapers, including Gaskiya-tafi-kobo which is the first News Paper in Northern Nigeria published in Hausa Language during World War II, 1939- and which was recently digitized and published in EAP web page.
• Transcripts of the news broadcast of the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation 1959-1966
Routing Activities carried out by the center:
• Annual Lectures
• Seminars & Workshops
• Study Series
• Preservation, conservation and digitization of archival record.
•Centre for Trans Saharan Studies University of Maiduguri , Borno State
•Jos Museum Arabic Manuscripts Collection, National Museum and Monuments Jos Plateau State.
•Northern History Research Scheme, Department of History, Ahmadu Bello University, Samaru Zaria. Nigeria.
•National Archives of Nigeria Kaduna.
•Kano History and Culture Bureau Kano,
•Sokoto History and culture Bureau, Sokoto State.
•University of Khartoum