The Department serves as the main repository in the country for the preservation of government records in paper, audiovisual and electronic formats, relating to the country's history and heritage. It collects archival materials relating to Jamaica produced by government ministries, agencies and department and persons of national importance as well as churches, charities and other organisations to ensure that primary materials of cultural value to Jamaica are preserved. It provides a research and reference service to the public and disseminates information on the collection to promote interest and knowledge of the nation's history and culture.
Additionally, the Department establishes standards and procedures for the efficient and effective management of official records in public sector entities, at all stages of their life cycles. It provides consulting services and training in records and information management to government ministries and departments, and provides storage facilities for non-current government records awaiting final disposition in keeping with their retention schedules. It also provides administrative support to the Archives Advisory Committee.