Detailed steps to transfer materials to the University Archive

1. Identify materials to be transferred

The University Archives will only accept materials listed in the Collection Policy. Please refer to the Collection Policy and review the materials accepted and materials not accepted before boxing items.

2. Determine if documents contain confidential or restricted items

Note documents that might contain information which needs to be restricted from public use, including but not limited to the following: Social Security numbers, medical history, personnel history, performance evaluations, salary, personal financial matters, confidential student records, or other records deemed confidential by the donating unit. See the Collection Policy to determine if identified restricted items should be transferred to the archives.

If restricted or confidential materials are being transferred, please contact the University Archivist for additional instructions.

3. Obtain appropriate boxes

Files should be boxed in standard record boxes (12" x 15" x 10"). Examples can be found at OfficeMax (Item # 20151540), Staples (Item # 825695) or ULINE (Item # S-6521). A limited number of boxes are available from the University Archives. We have to make efficient use of limited space and other sizes or types of boxes may not fit on our shelving and may be too heavy and awkward for staff to lift. If you have odd size items that do not fit into the cartons, contact the University Archivist. The University Archives can reuse boxes, so please do not use tape to close the boxes, and please, do not write in pen or marker anywhere on the boxes. The University Archivist will provide labels. Please fill in the labels with your department or unit name and box numbers (for example, Box 1 of 3, Box 2 of 3 and Box 3 of 3).

Use the following guide to approximate the number of boxes you will need.

  • For letter-size files, 2 file drawers will require 3 boxes
  • For legal-size files, 1 file drawer will require 2 boxes.
  • For lateral files, 1 box will hold 1 feet of letter-size files, or 1 foot of legal-size files.

4. Box Materials

Records should be taken from filing cabinets and packed in the boxes in the order in which they were filed in the cabinets. This order reflects the functions and activities of the office that created the records. Place all folders in an upright position with the folder titles facing the same direction. Pack the items firmly in the boxes and fill each box completely, but do not force them. Allow enough space for easy removal of individual folders. Please do not send loose papers or hanging files. If you are using hanging files with metal hooks, replace them with standard manila file folders. The hangers take up space and add weight. Make sure to number the boxes so that the files remain in the correct order (for example, Box 1 of 3, Box 2 of 3 and Box 3 of 3).

5. Create a folder list

Create a folder title inventory that lists the records in the order as boxed. Include the date range for the material in each folder. Please spell out dates, such as January 5, 1995 March 8, 1996, not 5/5/95-3/8/96. If your office needs to retrieve materials from these files before they are fully processed, this inventory will be the primary way of finding the requested files. Save this folder title inventory as either a Word document or an Excel spreadsheet. See examples here for Word or Excel. Email the electronic file to the University Archivist:

6. Fill out the Transfer Agreement

Fill in all the information requested on the Transfer Agreement, including the contact name of a permanent staff member. We are trying to develop a list of permanent staff members on campus who have the responsibility for maintaining the records for their department. Send the form to the University Archivist. When the form is received, the University Archivist will contact you for a transfer date.

7. Transfer Boxes

Because the Archives staff is small, we ask, if possible, for offices to make arrangements themselves to transport materials to the loading dock of Mullins Library (directions below). Please make arrangements in advance with the University Archivist, so the materials will be received by the correct person. Upon arrival at the loading dock, use the call box, and a staff member will receive the boxes. For alternate options, speak to the University Archivist.