This article analyses the effects that Zimbabwe's political and economic situation has had on the National Archives from the 1990s to the present day. These have included problems of recruiting and retaining professional staff members and of long term vacancies, and the deterioration of the purpose-built archive due to lack of funding. Other issues include the decline in visitor figures and the rise in missing archives either due to theft or misfiling. The methods used by the National Archives of Zimbabwe to stay afloat during the sanctions regime, such as localising archival training, are explored and analysed. Having explored these challenges faced by the National Archives, the article concludes by explaining current initiatives and projects such as the capture of war memories through an oral history project and the efforts to recover migrated archives.