Immediately after the issue of Presidential Circular letter No. 7 of 1963, which established the National Archives as a division, work began to draft a Parliamentary Bill that would give the National Archives statutory powers. The bill duly received the Presidents assent in July 1965 and came into effect on 28th August 1965.
The National Archives Act No. 33 of 1965 was amended in 1979 (National Archives Amendment Act No.6 of 1979) and 1991 (Penal Reform (Miscellaneous Penalties Amendment 1991)).
In 2002 the Government decided to repeal the National Archives Act No. 33 of 1965 by having a new Act that established the Records and Archives Management Division, to provide for the proper Administration and better management of Public records and archives throughout their life cycles. This Act is known as the Records and Archives Management Act No. 3 of 2002.
The Founders of the Nation Centre (FNC), a section of the national archives, was established in 2004 pursuant to Part II Section 4.-1 of the Founders of the Nation (Honouring Procedures) Act No 8 of 2004 followed by its Founders of the Nation (Honouring procedures) Regulations of 2005.
This Act concerns the preservation of the legacy of the First President of the United Republic of Tanzania the late Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere; and the First President of Zanzibar the late Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume.
Amongst other provisions, Part IV Section 17 of the Act imposes restrictions and provides a mechanism through which applications to the use the founders of the nationâ€™s name or names can be handled.
Since its establishment the National Archives has been placed under different Ministries. Immediately before moving to the Civil Service Department, the National Archives was under the Ministry of Education and Culture. The decision to transfer it to the Civil Service Department came when it was realised that there is a need to have one central organisation that could manage government records from creation to disposition. Before that, the National Archives was responsible for the management of non- current records, while Civil Service Department was responsible for the management of current records. In September 1999 the National Archives moved to the Presidents Office Civil Service Department. The name was changed to the Records and Archives Management Division.