The history of the Zambian National Archives dates back to 1935 when the Southern Rhodesian (Zimbabwe) Archives were opened. Services were extended to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Nyasaland (Malawi). A depot was opened in Livingstone in 1947, but was closed and its records were transferred to Southern Rhodesia. The depot reopend in Lusaka in 1956. After the dissolution of the Federation in 1963, the Zambian Archives ceased to be a depot and became the National Archives of Zambia.

In 1969, the National Archives Act was passed in Parliament. Under this law, the legal and sole mandate for the care and preservation of public records was entrusted with the National Archives of Zambia.

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