The Historical Archives of Belgrade, as one of the most modern archives in the country, has played an important role in the archival service of Serbia. Although without authorization to lead and advise, the Historical Archives of Belgrade, by its organization, personnel and the performance of its activities, has always been a role model for many other archives.

The motive for the coming in being of this institution was, first of all, to protect and preserve the exceptionally important records of the Zemun Town Hall originating as early as the 18th century. It is because of this that, following the proposal of the education department of the Executive Committee of the People's Committee of the City of Belgrade, at its session held on 26 September 1945, the Decision was passed to establish an independent institution, The City Archives, whose task was to collect original documents of the social and private nature connected with the development of Belgrade and Zemun.

From the date of its foundation, the Archives had been a part of the City Library until, in 1947, it left the library and continued its activities as an independent institution. From 1954 on it was located in the building of former Class Lottery (at the corner of Vasina and Zmaj Jovina streets).

The present-day name was given to the Archives by the Decision of the City Council and the Executive Committee of the City of Belgrade held on 24 January 1958. It was entered into the registry of the Commercial Court in Belgrade on the basis of the decision ISu-5/97, under number 5-222-00, as a cultural institution of special social importance which, within its scope of its activity, carries out its task of protecting, collecting, classifying, processing, using and publishing the archival documentation. The competence of the Archives comprises the area of the Assembly of the City of Belgrade together with its urban and outlying municipalities.

With the passage of time, both the premises and the depots of the Archives became too small for the needs of the Archives as, over the years, it had taken over the management of a large number of archival collections. Because of that, in 1963, a detailed proposal was made of the future facility, following the design of Milan Jerković. The design was accepted by the City Assembly. The investors were the City Committee of the League of Communists of Belgrade, the Assembly of the City of Belgrade and the City Housing Enterprise, while the Directorate for the Construction of New Belgrade provided the location. The facility was constructed between 1969 and 1972. The building was officially commissioned on 16 January and the opening celebration was held on 15 October 1973.

The surface area of the terrain that the facility was built upon amounts to 7,200 sq meters, with 4,700 sq meters of floor area, namely 1,500 sq meters of offices, corridors and other rooms, 480 sq meters of workshops, 120 sq meters of the reading-room, 200 sq meters of the Gallery and 2,400 sq meters of the depots.