Register of the Urbain Joseph Kinet papers

Finding aid prepared by Joemar Clemente
Hoover Institution Library and Archives
© 2008, 2022
434 Galvez Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-6003

Title: Urbain Joseph Kinet papers
Date (inclusive): 1927-1996
Collection Number: 97024
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
Language of Material: In French and English
Physical Description: 13 manuscript boxes, 4 oversize boxes, 2 card file boxes, 1 oversize folder, 5 sound tape reels (9.6 Linear Feet)
Abstract: Belgian-American scientist (1909-1989); Station chief in Uvira, Belgian Congo, Institut pour la recherche scientifique en Afrique centrale (I.R.S.A.C), 1951-1960. Includes writings, field notes, reports, correspondence, maps, sound recordings, and photographs, relating to study of the ethnology, flora and fauna, mineralogy, geology, meteorology and geography of the Lake Tanganyika and neighboring regions in Africa, and of Antarctica next hit .
Creator: Kinet, Urbain Joseph, 1909-1989
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


Boxes 8 and 14 may not be used without permission of the Archivist. The remainder of the collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

Acquisition Information

Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 1997.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Urbain Joseph Kinet papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

Biographical Note

Belgian-American scientist (1909-1989); worked in mineral prospecting and geology for the Comité National Du Kivu (1938-1944); Station chief in Uvira, Belgian Congo for the Institut pour la recherche scientifique en Afrique centrale (I.R.S.A.C), 1951-1961.

Urbain Joseph Kinet (1909-1989)

1909 September 16 Born
1938-1944 Worked for the Comité National Du Kivu.
1940-1949 Assignment to undertake research on strategic minerals, rare earths, and special crystals for the Allied U.S. Armed forces working in London and in the field in Africa.
1949 Awarded the "Médaille de l'Effort de Guerre Colonial" distinction from the Kingdom of Belgium.
1951-1961 Worked as Chief of the "Institut pour la recherche scientifique en Afrique centrale" (I.R.S.A.C.), Uvira, Lake Taganyika.
1960 Awarded the "Ordre Royal du Lion" distinction for I.R.S.A.C. service from the Kingdom of Belgium.
1961 Began working for Department of Entomology in the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco.
1965-1978 Worked for the Department of Epidemiology and International Health & the George William Hooper Foundation at the University of California, San Francisco.
1966 Traveled to previous hit Antarctica next hit on research expedition.
1969 Earned Master's degree in Geography, San Francisco State College.
1989 August 7 Died

Scope and Content of Collection

The bulk of this collection consists of materials gathered during Kinet's time in Africa between 1938 and the mid 1960s. He worked as part of the Comité National Du Kivu, an organization charged with economically developing the eastern Belgian Congo. The Comité National Du Kivu series contains administrative files of employees, construction plans, and reports of mineral extractions in the area. Included in the reports are mineral extraction data during the World War II period from different mines in the eastern Belgian Congo. Reports are arranged in reverse chronological order as originally received in bounded folders. Kinet also managed I.R.S.A.C.'s Uvira station; the I.R.S.A.C. series contains administrative documents pertinent to his time as local chief (Chief de Poste).
The Field Journals series contains Kinet's original observations and journals from his previous hit Antarctica next hit expedition, which received sponsorship from the Smithsonian Institute and the Bishop Museum in Hawaii. Included also are journals for a research trip to the Arctic.
The Photographic Materials series contains original photographs of areas in the Belgian Congo and central Africa. The bulk of photos in the photographic series were taken in the Belgian Congo's eastern half or areas near the border areas with neighboring Tanzania and Burundi. Photo albums also contain original photos of the Belgian Congo as well as photos of North Africa (mostly Algeria or nearby Saharan desert region) and photo postcards of Egypt. The collection also contains sound recordings and 8mm motion picture film.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

previous hit Antarctica next hit
Congo (Democratic Republic) -- Research
Africa -- Research
Tanganyika, Lake
Institut pour la recherche scientifique en Afrique centrale


Biographical File 1949-1958

box 1, folder 1

Documents 1949-1989

Scope and Contents

Biographical sketch, certificates, resume, and list of publications and courses taught.
box 14

Medals 1948-1958

Conditions Governing Access

Box 14 may not be used without permission of the Archivist.

Scope and Contents

Contains three medals. The "Médaille de l'Effort de Guerre Colonial" from the Kingdom of Belgium awarded February 15, 1949 for distinguished civilian national service during World War II. Also contains, "Louis Van Den Berghe" medal awarded for work at Lwiro/Bukavu between 1948 and 1958. The last medal reads "1940-1945 Pro Patria Victoria."

Correspondence 1944-1986

Scope and Contents

Personal correspondence, including business letters for the Comité National Du Kivu and I.R.S.A.C.
box 1, folder 2

General 1954-1973


Loose correspondence combined and arranged chronologically.
box 1, folder 3

Grant Application undated

box 1, folder 4

Employment Attestation 1978, 1986

box 1, folder 5

"Yome Correspondence From Africa" 1944-1947

box 1, folder 6

Business 1951-1960

box 1, folder 7

"African Materials" 1949-1964

Scope and Contents

Contains resumes, Comité National Du Kivu and I.R.S.A.C. letters.
box 1, folder 8

Postcards 1959


Comité National Du Kivu 1927-1951

Scope and Contents

Business, administrative files, and building blueprints.
box 1, folder 9

Unidentified Index undated

Scope and Contents

"Repertoire Du Classement."
box 1, folder 10-11

Prospect Reports 1939-1945

Scope and Contents

Mineral Extraction Reports.
box 1, folder 12-14

Accounting Records 1949-1950

box 2, folder 1-2

Accounting Records 1950-1951

box 2, folder 3

Court Records 1947

Scope and Contents

"Comment libeller les préventions par D. Merckaert Substitut du Procureur géneral prés la Cour d'appeal d'Elisabethville."
box 2, folder 4

"Congrégation du Coeur Immaculé de Marie" 1927-1950

box 2, folder 5

"Permanent Wood Residential Project" undated

Scope and Contents

"Project d'habitation en bois non démontable" building plan.
box 2, folder 6

"Contract H&T" 1950

box 2, folder 7

"Construction Plans" 1949

Processing Information

Oversize items and blueprints have been removed from the folder and added to Box 8, folders 1-21. See item removal slips filed within.
box 8, folder 1-22

"Construction Plans" 1949

Conditions Governing Access

Box 8 may not be used without permission of the Archivist.

Processing Information

Items were removed from Box 2 folder 7 and added to this box due to preservation concerns. See item removal slips filed within.

Scope and Contents

Includes two original maps by Kinet. The first map is labeled "Bassin Haute Kalungwe, Riviére Niakakera," dated August 1938. The second map is labeled "Secteur Lowa, Bloc Kyassa Luka" dated April 1939.

Institut pour la recherche scientifique en Afrique Centrale (I.R.S.A.C.) 1952-1980

Scope and Contents

Business and administrative files.
box 2, folder 8

"Report of visit to I.R.S.A.C. Meterological Station" 1951 May 24

Scope and Contents

"Rapport de visite a la station meteorologique de l'I.R.S.A.C. A Uvira. 24 Mai 1951."
box 2, folder 9

Publications About 1954-1960

box 2, folder 10

"Salaries, etc." 1943-1944

Scope and Contents

Materials pertaining to I.R.S.A.C. staff compensation.
box 2, folder 11

Work Documents 1953-1980

box 2, folder 12

Vehicle Maintenance undated

box 2, folder 13

"Cars & Drivers" 1956

box 2, folder 14

"Project Manager Registry" 1952-1957

Scope and Contents

"Registre M.O.E."
box 3, folder 1

Notebooks undated

box 3, folder 2

"Report Sheets" undated


Field Journals 1954-1969

Scope and Contents

Diaries and data from field research or derivative works produced thereafter.
box 3, folder 3-4

"Antarctic Expedition" 1965-1966

box 3, folder 5

"Observations of Icebreaker 'Atka' of Antarctic Waters" 1966 February

box 3, folder 6

"Microreliefs of previous hit Antarctica next hit " 1969

box 3, folder 7

Miscellaneous previous hit Antarctica next hit Expedition 1966-1969

Scope and Contents

Includes documents for Kinet's "Antarctic Service Medal" and previous hit Antarctica high elevation record for arthropods.
box 3, folder 8

Expedition to the Arctic 1964 June-July

box 3, folder 9

Field Notebooks 1954-1955


Writings 1954-1967

Scope and Contents

Reports and proposals for courses or research projects.
box 3, folder 10

"Uvira Earthquake" 1954 July 3

box 4, folder 1

"Zoogeography" 1965

box 4, folder 2

"Physical Geography Volcanology" 1967

box 4, folder 3

"Volcanoes: Tropical Biology; Ecology" undated


Research Materials undated

Scope and Contents

Published materials gathered in the course of research.
box 4, folder 4

"Congo" undated

box 4, folder 5-7

"Africa" undated

box 4, folder 8

"Zoology" undated

box 4, folder 9

"African Zoology" undated

box 4, folder 10

"Miscellaneous Zoology" undated

box 12

Bibliography Africa/Congo undated

Scope and Contents

Index cards with bibliographic citations, including English-Swahili translations.

Miscellaneous 1959-1995, undated

box 4, folder 11

Student Work Received 1976-1977

Scope and Contents

San Francisco State College.
box 5, folder 1

Student Work Received 1976-1977

box 5, folder 2

"Guru Swami Krishnand" 1960-1961

Scope and Contents

Includes letters and related spiritual literature.

Printed Matter 1959-1995, undated

box 5, folder 3

"Pygmy Fund" 1996

Scope and Contents

Contains newsletters for the "Pygmy Fund: The only organization in the world dedicated to saving the Pygmies from extinction and preserving their way of life with self-reliance and dignity."
box 5, folder 4

Clippings 1960, 1995

Scope and Contents

Includes a complete September 7, 1960 issue of "Kila Nguromo" newspaper.
box 5, folder 5

Miscellaneous 1959, undated

Scope and Contents

Includes a book on soldering "Soudeurs Jueni Kusuder;" potential Swahili booklet "Bila!"; and French pamphlet "XXV-Anniversaire De L'Association Coloniale Liegeoise."
box 5, folder 6

"African Fauna Flora Cards" undated

Scope and Contents

Contains "Côte d'Or" color illustration cards consisting mostly aquatic life.

Travel Materials undated

box 5, folder 7

Travel Brochures undated

Scope and Contents

Brochure of "Usumbura" moved to Oversized Folder 1.
box 5, folder 8

East Congo Travel undated


Maps undated

box 5, folder 9

Original Maps undated

box 5, folder 10

Miscellaneous Maps undated

os_folder 1

"Comité National Du Kivu" 1948

Scope and Contents

Created by Dresée Par G. Rulot. "Photozincographié a l'Institut Géographique Militaire-Bruxelles 1948."
os_folder 1

"Comité National Du Kivu" 1949

Scope and Contents

Created by Dresée Par G.Rulot.
os_folder 1

"Map of Kenya & Uganda" undated

Scope and Contents

Unknown author. Map described as " showing railways and road with through routes to adjoining territories."
os_folder 1

"Afrique: Carte Générale Politique-économique" undated

Scope and Contents

Created by Kümmerly & Frey, BerneMap "Printed in Switzerland."

Photographic Materials 1937-1960s, undated


Photographic prints arranged by country and topic are based on description and groupings provided by donor.

Scope and Contents

Photographic prints, postcards, and albums.

By country

box 6, envelope 1-8

Algeria 1948


Belgian Congo

Processing Information

Photographs were originally in an envelope labeled 'Belgian Congo', further arrangement by geographic region was made based on verso description written on the back of each print.
box 6, envelope 9-10

General Belgian Congo 1947

box 6, envelope 11

Baraka circa 1950

box 6, envelope 12-13

Biega 1953

box 6, envelope 14-17

Eastern Belgian Congo circa 1955

box 6, envelope 18

Ishungu undated

box 6, envelope 19

Kakondo 1953

box 6, envelope 20

Kalehe 1953, 1959

box 6, envelope 21-23

Kalundu 1954 April

box 6, envelope 24-26

Katanga Province undated

box 6, envelope 27-28

Kauimvira 1954

box 6, envelope 29

Kirasimbi Volcano undated

box 6, envelope 30

Lake Kivu undated

box 6, envelope 31-46

Luama River 1947, 1953

box 6, envelope 47-51

Luemba undated

box 6, envelope 52-53

Lwiro I.R.S.A.C. Research Center 1953

box 6, envelope 54

Makengere undated

box 6, envelope 55

Mikeno Volcano undated

box 6, envelope 56

Mount Munanira undated

box 6, envelope 57

Nyiragong Volcano undated

box 6, envelope 58-61

Ruzizi River undated

box 6, envelope 62-64

Ruzizi River Bridge 1954

box 7, folder 1

Ruwenzori Moutains undated

box 6, envelope 65-66

Lake Taganyika 1954

box 6, envelope 67-75

Lake Tumba 1950-1952

box 6, envelope 76

Uvira 1954

box 6, envelope 77-80

Uvira I.R.S.A.C Research Center 1958

box 6, envelope 81-84

Uvira Fishing Camp 1953-1954

box 6, envelope 85-95

Burundi 1953-1959


Kenya undated

box 7, folder 2

"Mount Kenya" undated


Tanzania 1960

box 6, envelope 96

Mount Kilimanjaro undated

box 6, envelope 97-106

Ngorongoro Crater 1960

box 6, envelope 107-108

Tabora 1960

box 6, envelope 109

Ujiji undated

box 6, envelope 110-111

Lake Victoria 1960

box 6, envelope 112

Zanzibar undated


By Topic 1937, 1960, undated

box 7, envelope 1-2

Gorilla undated

Scope and Contents

Content Warning: This envelope contains photographs depicting animal killings that are graphic in nature.
box 7, envelope 3-4

Miscellaneous 1937

box 7, envelope 5-7

Guru Swami Krishnand 1960

Scope and Contents

Includes Kodachrome transparencies of Krishnand.
box 7, envelope 8-18

Photoraphic Postcards undated

Scope and Contents

Indigenous African peoples.

Photographic Albums undated

Scope and Contents

Scrapbooks of photographs and photopostcards.
box 9

"Paris" undated

box 11

"Kilalo-ya, Muungu" undated

box 11

"French Somalia" undated

box 10, folder 1

"World Tour: Africa" undated

box 10, folder 2

Numbered Photographs undated

box 10, folder 3

Scrapbook Photos undated


Audiovisual Materials 1956-1960s, undated


Original audiovisual materials are not available until they have been reformatted. If interested in accessing these materials, please contact us for more information.

Sound Recordings 1956, undated

box MC30

Excerpts of nature sounds, California Academy of Sciences undated

Physical Description: 1, 1/4-inch sound tape reel (5-inch)

Scope and Contents

"Track 1. Excerpt from the 'Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson in English; Track 2. Excerpt from the African Newspaper 'HODI' in Swahili language; Track 3: This is a True Story In Swahili of one of our numerous hunting safari in the African jungle. Kulumbata Nyama."
box MC11


Physical Description: 2, 1/4-inch sound tape reels

Scope and Contents

"Reel 1. Side 1: Yedo Komoriuta (lullaby); Kojo No Tsuki; Aru Hareta Hi Ni (Madame Butterfly); Sakura-Sakura Festival Music; Mat Suri; Yedo Matsuri Bayashi; Gion Bayashi; Suwa Daiko; Side 2: Hachijo Daiko; Yagi Bushi; Etchu Ohara Bushi; Soroban Odori; Soma Bonuta; Tairyo Bushi. Reel 2. 7 1/2. Sakura Sakura. Oyedo Nihonbashi; Rokudan; Miya-san, Miya-san; Kazoe Uta; Sukiyaki Song; Chidori No Kyoku; Kappore; Yakko-San."
box MC11

Debut conference I cotes. Alvira Belgian Congo von Tour du Monde 1956 March 1

Physical Description: 2, 1/4-inch sound tape reels

Scope and Contents

"Reel 1: Debut conference I cotes. Uvira Belgian Congo von Tour du Monde; Commence Pas. Reel 2: 10 derniéres minutes de la conférence; Les feuilles mortes de J. Kosma par Lucienne Belgie; L'âme des poétes de Ch. Trenet par Yvette Girau; Vera Lynn. Popular Medley. Tell me you're mine - I Believe; Half as much. The Isle of Innisfree. You belong to me. Frieré Beruienne. I Chier & Denoncim. Luis Mariano. Les Lavandieres Du Portugal. Luchessi. Popp Luis."

Motion Picture undated

box 13

circa 1960

Physical Description: 8 film reels (8 mm)

Scope and Contents

Three film Reels are labeled: "I. Fini," "II. Fini," and "III. Fini".

Incremental Materials

Processing Information

These incremental materials were processed to a baseline standard that employs an accession inventory for description. An accession inventory is a basic description of an archival collection with no attempt at intellectual arrangement. The depth of description varies depending on the format of the materials and the amount of pre-existing description received when the materials were acquired.

Paper material

box 17


Scope and Contents

This box contains manuscript drafts, journals, and printed matter. The following is a list of original enclosure titles contained in the box: "Ecology"; "Earthquake at Uvira, Lake Tanganyika"; "Ecologie Coloniale"; "Forms used for counting animals in a special sector"; "Entomology Africa"; "Urbain Kinet's work in Africa/Belgian Congo."
box 18


Scope and Contents

This box contains printed matter, research material, and a journal. The following is a list of original enclosure titles contained in the box: "About Kilimanjaro, also some Bibliography"; "Lexiolue Botanique"; "Seismo Uvira"; "Notes and Letters, Africa"; "Tanganyika Lake"; "Malacologie Conchyleiologie."
box 19


Scope and Contents

This box contains printed matter and journals. The following is a list of original enclosure titles contained in the box: "Zooleo"; "Example of Islamism in Africa, also in Swahili."


box 15


Scope and Contents

This box contains photo prints. The following list contains original enclosure titles present in the box: "Lake Tumba Area"; "Mammals"; "Kibuye"; "Parc National Albert Congo Belge"; "Gorilla."
box 16


Scope and Contents

This box contains photo prints and slides. The following list contains original enclosure titles present in the box: "Various Photos from Uvira, Bukava"; "Native woman"; "Virunga Mountains"; "Parc National Albert Congo Belge Faune"; "Uganada"; "Ruwerzori."