The library was established primarily to supplement and facilitate the study of the Public Records. In terms of the Printed Publications Act National Archives Library is a legal depository of all printed publications in Zimbabwe. National Archives Library also acquires works on or about Zimbabwe published outside Zimbabwe. Materials on the Southern African Sub Region which relates to Zimbabwe are also found in the library.
The National Archives Library is also responsible for the production of the Zimbabwe National Bibliography (ZNB) which is a comprehensive and authoritative bibliographic record for the country’s publishing output. The ZNB is published annually.
The Library also administers the International Standard Book Numbering System. The ISBN(International Standard Book Number) has the purpose of uniquely identifying a book from any other books and is a worldwide standard .