National Archives of Zimbabwe, Records Section provides records and information Management services to central government ministries, departments, local authorities and parastatals through the Harare Records Office and the other five Provincial Records Centres.
We marveled at the wise men's sayings and one of which goes thus "A journey of thousand miles begins with one step" Such is the journey of National Archives of Zimbabwe Records Management Services. The year 1965 saw a satellite repository being opened in Craneborne, in Harare. The Craneborne repository was later relocated to Southerton years later. It was only when the current records centre was opened when the Southerton collections were transferred to the current Harare Records Centre. Towards the end of 1966, another branch repository in Bulawayo was opened to service the Western end of the country. That same year, an extra have often store and repository was built or erected at the Head Quarters, in Harare. Twenty years later, in October 1986, Mutare records centre was established to cater for Manicaland Province, followed by Masvingo (Masvingo Province) and Gweru (Midlands Province) in 1987 and 1988 respectively. The year 1988, also marked a major milestone in the History of Records Management Services as the current state of the art Harare records Centre was opened.
It was then, the largest Records Centre in Central and Southern Africa, with thirty- two repositories. Each repository has a carrying capacity of 8712 cubic feet of records. The year 1999, witnessed the establishment of ChinhoyiRecords Centre (Mashonaland West Province), completing the current number of provincial offices we have. The Harare Records Centres is responsible for records management supervision in three provinces, namely Harare, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland Central while Bulawayo Archives services equally the same number of provinces like Harare and these are Bulawayo, Matebeleland North and Matebeleland South. National Archives of Zimbabwe, Records Section provides records and information Management services to central government ministries, departments, local authorities and parastatals through the Harare Records Office and the other five Provincial Records Centres.(Create a links to relevant provincial offices on the contacts page page)It is through this service that the National Archives, Records Management Section monitors and advises public institutions on the professional creation of records, filing systems, maintenance, utilization, storage and disposal of records. NAZ also arranges for the preservation of records of permanent value as it is the mandate of the Department as a whole. Records Centres are used for intermediate organized economical, high density storage (insert picture at the end of this section)of semi-current records which are deposited by public institutions through systematic records receiving and accessioning procedures. These records are filed in 1 cubic feet acid free boxes, (code 54).
They provide their own boxes since NAZ has since stopped issuing out these to the depositing public for free. The deposited records are retained for administrative, fiscal, legal and operational purposes. These records are kept for 25 years as alluded to earlier, before they are disposed of by transfer to Public Archives if they are of permanent value or are destroyed because of their ephemeral/temporary value. During this period no one else is allowed access to those documents except for the creating departments. The access(Create a link to relevant access page) is through a well- documented file reference service. The records centres are responsible for records from Ministries, departments, parastatals and local authorities ONLY. This is because these are public records which are created and maintained by public offices, whose operations are funded and supervised by the government, directly or indirectly. Any other private company or individual which or who may wish to deposit their records to NAZ would have to do so through Public Archives and Research as manuscripts.Otherwise, records do not accession records into the records centres for safe keeping for and on behalf of the private institutions or individuals.
Records Centres also work as sifting plants, appraising records, determining their values. These result in the production of standing instructionsfor records, used by both the creating departments and the records centres. Records Centres work as intermediate storage facility, keeping records which still belong to the creating departments as closed and confidential information. Some nominal charges (cerate link to charges page) are levied for the storage of records. When these records mature or have outlived their closure period, they are then forwarded to public archives and research section for further processing, becoming accessible to the researching public.
Roles then do change, NAZ, changing from just being the legal custodians to legal owners and custodians. The creating department relinquish their roles with regards to ownership.
The major services provided by the Records Centres include:-
• Supervisory role, advising our client departments on the professional records practices, with particular reference to the systematic creation, maintenance, use and disposal of records. Providing storage facilities for semi-current records (i.e. those under 25 years), economical high density
• File reference services. Conducting records management surveys.
• Training registry staff through workshops and seminars.
• Industrial attachment for students undertaking relevant courses from tertiary institutions. Facilitating and supervising systematic and procedural disposals.
Records centre High density storage