The General Directorate of Archives is the most important archival institution in the country, in which place are collected, preserved, managed, and served important records that witness about the history of the nation and Albanian State. The history of the archives in Albania is closely connected with the history of the nation itself, and the state, and it is a result of the processes and phases of their development. The beginnings of the archival activities go back to antiquity, at a time when in the libraries of the Illyrian states, along with the books, they also used to preserve records. The first record which mention the efforts to establish the Historic Central Archives, is a Decision of the High State Committee, of date 02.01.1931, in which is discussed the bye-laws draft for registering of important events. The State Archives were created as a dependent sector to Institute of Studies in 1947.
According to the order no. 21, of date 08.06.1949 of the Council of Ministers (see AQSH of RSH, F. 890, V. 1949, D 501), the State Archives was declared as an independent institution. In 1951, the State Archives passed under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Interior Affairs, until 1962. This very year, was created the General Directorate of State Archives, which was subject to the Council of Ministers (see AQSH of RSH, F 890, V. 1960, D. 27).
In 19.06.1984, for the first time, the Albanian Parliament passed the law "On archival fond of the State and the Archives". After the changes of the political system, in July 1994, the Albanian pluralist Parliament of Republic of Albania, based on the article 16 of the law no. 7491, of date 24.04.1991 "On major dispositions of the Constitution", in conformity with the proposal of the Council of Ministers, passed the law "On the national archival fond and the archival work". Based on the articles 78, and 83, item 1 of the Constitution, and according to the proposal of Council of Ministers, the Parliament of Republic of Albania passed the law no. 9154, of date 06.11.2003 "On Archives".
The records which are preserved in the State Central Archives in Tirana, and in district archives, are all-inclusive regarding their origin, type, support, place and time of creation and in respect with information they have. The first record is dated as 6th century.