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This study used the case study of the Audio-Visual Unit of the National Archives of Zimbabwe to interrogate challenges faced in managing audio-visual archives in developing economies despite their centrality as documentary heritage. The study firstly addresses the importance of audio-visual archives such as enhancing collective societal memory, preservation of culture and provision of entertainment. Thereafter, the study addresses challenges faced such as lack of collection development policy, lack of skilled manpower and technological obsolescence. It is against this background that the study proposes a framework that can be used to improve the way audio-visual archives are managed, the Tripartite Audio-Visual Archives Management Framework. This qualitative research made use of a case study research design and collected data using unstructured interviews, personal observation and document reviews. Purposive sampling was used where archivists and other staff members of the Audio-Visual Unit were the informants. Data were analysed thematically.