Accessing Stored Records

Who can access my records?

How to make a file request

Charging out boxes

Deadlines and delivery times

Information or individual document requests

On site research


Proper cataloging of your records ensures that they can be retrieved quickly and easily. Many people think of Records Management as "inactive storage." But records are very seldom so easily classified as either "active" or "inactive." In reality, records usually see a steady decrease in activity over their retention period. In some cases Records Management holds records that are as recent as a few days old. (See When should I send records for storage? in Section 4 for further information.)

Having material in various stages of activity in the Records Management facility has necessitated the development of a system to access that material quickly, easily, and accurately. This section of the website details those procedures

Who can access my records?

In general, access to your records is limited to those individuals you designate. This is usually most or all of the individuals in your department who regularly work with the material. In the case of records of a more confidential nature, access can be limited to specific named individuals.

Records Management never directly releases records to anyone who is not an employee of Dartmouth College, such as students, reporters, or the public. Requests for material from these users should be made to the department who owns the records, who can then request them from Records Management. The originating department may then release them as they see fit, in accordance with all Dartmouth policies and procedures.

Records may be accessed by a department other than those to whom they belong only by special arrangement. Requests from one department to see another’s records will result in Records Management seeking the permission of the Records Custodian before access is provided.

How to make a file request.

The very best way to make a file request is to use the RMS On-Line system. This system ensures the most prompt and accurate fulfillment of your request.

If you are not a valid RMS user, or you cannot find what you are looking for in the on-line system, requests can be submitted via e-mail. This provides an audit trail that is impossible with phone requests. However, should you have special circumstances which are difficult to describe in e-mail, a message combined with a follow up phone call may help to explain the situation. Likewise, if you are not sure what specific record you are looking for, describe it briefly in an e-mail, and then give Records Management a call.

NOTE: When you make a request, having any Records Management cataloging information available,especially the File Number, will expedite the process. (See Generation of Reports for information on how to obtain this cataloging information)

If you have a previously generated report, or have found the file you need using the on-line system, simply e-mail the following information to Records Management.

  • File Number
  • File Title

If your report does not list the file title, any other cataloging or descriptive information will help Records Management locate the file.

  • Department Number
  • Series Number
  • Accession Number
  • Box Number
  • File Name
  • Approximate date of the material
  • Approximate date sent to storage

Don't forget to include your room location for delivery, and any special instructions.

Records Management will do the research to find the accession and box numbers, and send the record to you on the next delivery run.


Charging out boxes.

Like files, entire boxes may be charged out and delivered to your office. Obviously, due to the difficulty in moving complete boxes around campus, Records Management discourages charging out an entire box when requesting individual files can suffice. Like files, box requests can be generated through the RMS On-Line system, or made through e-mail. Should you find it necessary to have an entire box (or even an entire accession) returned to your office, simply send your request to Records Management.

It is important, when you charge out entire boxes, to document any changes you make to the box contents that could outdate the Records Management computerized catalog. A form will be included in the box which will allow you to document any additions or deletions. Be sure to return this form along with the box.


Deadlines and delivery times.

Records Management makes two delivery runs each day, using drivers provided by Central Stores. The table below shows the timetable for each of the two deliveries.


Requested Between:

8:00 - 11:00 am

11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Records Arrive:

by 4:00 pm, same day

by noon, next day

All deliveries are made directly to your office.

Information or individual document requests.

Very often it is not the file itself that is needed, but simply some information or a document within that file. However, even in these cases Records Management prefers to charge the file out to the department, rather than consulting individual documents within the file. This policy is intended to help ensure the integrity of your files by limiting access of file contents to your departmental personnel. Only in cases involving a serious urgency for immediate information will Records Management consult the contents of individual files. When this is necessary the information can then be sent to you via e-mail, phone or fax. Simply send a description of the information or document you need to Records Management.

On site research.

In some cases it may be useful for you or your staff to visit Records Management to perform more in-depth research. Research stations (including computer accessibility) are available on-site for this kind of research. Contact Records Management for further details. The Records Center is open from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, by appointment only.

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Intro | Record Production | Retention | Sending Records | Accessing Records | RMS On-Line | Returning Records | Disposition | Forms