The library was established primarily to supplement and facilitate the study of the Public Records of Central and Southern Africa. The library acquire, preserve and provide access to published material, a reference collection of standard bibliographies and a technical collection to assist the staff in carrying out their duties.  The nucleus of the library was established by the acquisition of the Hiller loan collection in 1936. This collection of Rhodesiana had been built up over a period of ten years. During its infants, the library's collection was boosted by two main deposits i.e. the Diocese of Southern Rhodesia and the Queen Victoria Memorial Collection. The latter consists entirely of annual and occasional government reports, reports of municipalities and other bodies. This deposit was in 1936. However, some of our collection dates as far back as the 18th Century.

Library Collections
•    Books,pamphlets,periodicals, reports
•    Non book i.e maps, plans, photographs,



The main classes and subjects within the collection are as follows:




Committies,commissions and associations

Conferences and meetings


Research institutions

Miscellaneous library /Archive holdings


Christian religion

Other religions

Social sciences

Sociology (community development, self-help projects)

Political Science(Internal politics,elections,migration of people,

political parties)


Law, legislation(international / world organizations,frontiers,
diplomatic law,constitutions,cabinets,executive councils,
parliaments,civil courts)

Public Administration,Defence

Civil Service Officials


Housing,communications,Local government ,Central
government Armed Forces,uniforms,medals etc,protected
villages, army units, airforce,navy

Social Relief And welfare

Social Relief, welfare,

Secret societies,social&philanthropic clubs

Social and national movements

Patriotic bodies, youth movements


African people, European people

Natural sciences

sciences, anthropological &biological sciences, botany
& zoology

Applied Science

Medicine, engineering& technology,agriculture,forestry,
animal husbandry,fisheries,chemical technology,
manufacturers,building industry

Arts ,Recreation etc.

paintings,engravings. entertainment


Personalia (pioneer groups, heraldry)


Pre -1890,Malawi ,Zambia and Zimbabwe(General history
concerning all three areas)

South Africa(mainly Anglo Boer War 1899-1902, Jameson
Zimbabwe 1890 to present