Preparing and Sending Records for Storage at the Records Center
When To Send Physical Records
The timing of sending records to storage is a decision best made after evaluating the individual needs of your office. In general, Records Management suggests that you assess your access frequency and the convenience value of having the records on hand. You can then weigh that against the personnel and space costs of having the records on site.
Obviously, there is no absolute guideline for determining when the balance tips in favor of sending a set of material to Records Management. That decision is left up to the Records Custodian.
Boxes for your records can be ordered through the RMS Online System. A full description of using this system can be found in the RMS Online Help System (PDF Version), which includes a video tour of ordering empty boxes.
Only boxes ordered directly from Records Management (and with the Records Management Box ID bar code already applied) can be used for sending records to storage. When ordering empty boxes, you will need to know the following information
- Quantity of boxes requested, sent in increments of 5 and up to 200 boxes
- Delivery location
- Account number to charge
Both the delivery location (building and room) and the account number to charge will default to the information in your contact record, although you can change those values when you submit an individual request.
You will want to order approximately 2 boxes for each full file drawer of letter size material or 3 boxes for each file drawer of legal size material. Material in Pendaflex hanging folders is packed as if it were legal size (see Packing Your Records below).
NOTE: There is a $3.00 charge for these boxes. This is the only charge incurred for any Records Management service.
- Use Records Management boxes only. It is important that only these boxes (which will have Records Management Box ID bar codes already applied) be used.
- Pack only one type of record (record series) in each box. If you have any questions about how best to separate your material, contact Records Management. Keeping the material separate allows material to be disposed based upon record series retention policies.
- Pack material facing the front of the box. The front of the box is the smaller end with the bar code affixed to it. Files should be readable when viewed from this end.
- Do not send Pendaflex hanging folders. Hanging folders eventually destroy the box, often within the first year of storage. If you must include Pendaflex, pack the files lengthwise in the box to avoid them hanging on the cardboard edges.
- Do not put any markings on the box. Records Management is a secure facility. Boxes have no labels other than the computer numbers assigned. Any writings you put on the box must be taped over. This is done so that in the event of a security breach no material could be found by browsing the labels on the boxes.
Box Transfer Form
Box Transfer forms are completed electronically using the RMS Online system. See the user documentation (PDF Version) for more information, including a video tour of how to use the online Box Transfer process.
The Box Transfer form contains information vital to the proper cataloging of your material. Careful completion of this form is the single most important step in ensuring accurate access, retention and disposition of your records. Note that you must complete one online form for each series you are sending to Records Management, but multiple boxes may be included on a single form. If you need to send more than one record series, simply complete a new for for each one.