Transfer Procedures for Records to the University Records Center

University offices and programs should regularly transfer inactive official records to the University Records Center (URC).  The URC offers a free, secure and environmentally friendly storage facility for your important university records.  Offices may request retrieval of records and can expect delivery within 24 hours of the request.  You may call the Archives at ext. 1225 or make an online retrieval request.

The following procedures are provided to assist offices in transferring records to the University Records Center. Feel free to contact the university archivist (x1046) or archives staff (ext.1225) at any time during this process should you have questions or problems.  The Archives will not accept records transfers that do not conform to the following procedures.

Step 1: Organize Your Files

Most offices organize their records in a filing cabinet according to form (correspondence, reports, photographs, etc.) or the function / activity (project files, vouchers, purchases, etc) the records document.  These records generally have the same date, fiscal year, or logical chronological grouping. The records are normally maintained in an alphabetic, numeric, or alphanumeric filing system.

Your office files should be organized according to an approved set of  record retention and disposition schedules.  The box below is an example of a typical records retention schedule.

If you have difficulty determining exactly what the retention schedule properly describes your records, immediately contact the university archivist at x1046 or mrobyns@nmu.edu.  Records organized first by record retention schedules should be arranged by a standard filing system

Record Title: Voucher File

Series Number              Schedule Number

0302-07                               97-0001

Description

This record series represents the source document for all vouchers entered into the FRS Accounts Payable System and documents payment activity. Records include source data entry document and supporting material. The source data document may include check requests, personnel service contracts, invoices with appropriate authorization signatures. Record series also includes a computer generated microfiche report used as a reference card.

Record Copy   Confidential?    Vital?

Accounts Payable      No           Yes                

Retention: 5 years plus current.  Retain previous year in office and transfer all others to the University Records Center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2:  Standard Record Center Boxes

Offices may transfer records to the University Records Center in standard record center boxes.  You may order these boxes from Central Services by visiting their web site and selecting the Place an Order link.   Use number 2-0750 for the standard record center box.  If you have any questions, call Central Services at x2454.

Example of Boxes

A standard records center box.          

The University Records Center will accept records of unusual size, shape, or form.  Oversize records, such as bound ledgers, should be tied in a bundle with sturdy cord.  Large drawings can be packed in cardboard tubes or wrapped in paper.  The Archives will accept very small record series placed in large campus mailer envelopes provided a records transmittal form is included.  Contact the university archivist to make special transfer arrangements.

Step 3:  Remove Records from Office File Cabinets or Filing Systems

Records must be packed in boxes (see Step 2) with the same folder headings and with each folder in the same arrangement as it appeared in the file drawer.  DO NOT USE HANGING FOLDERS.  Records may be placed in different file folders than those used for office files (particularly if hanging folders are used), but each must carry the same folder heading as those used in the office file.  You may weed or discard documents during the transfer process.  Follow discard guidelines listed here.  

Box with Files

The photograph above demonstrates the proper method for placing files into a standard records center box.  The files are in their original folders and arrangement. 

  • Please remove records from three-ring binders and hanging files and re-file in appropriate folders.  Information that appears on the notebook cover should be written on the folder.  Special care should be taken to ensure that the records are not disarranged during this process.
  • Office staff must complete a box-list inventory for each box sent to the Records Center.  A box-list inventory is essentially a list of file titles in each box.  Records Center staff use the box-list inventory as a descriptive index to facilitate access and retrieval of records.  Office staff should attach a copy of the box-list inventory to the Records Transmittal Sheet.

Step 4:  Labeling Boxes

Office staff number the boxes for each record series transferred to the Records Center.  Using a pencil, office staff marks the box number in the upper right hand corner of the box front.   For example, if the office ships 25 boxes of the record series “project files,” the boxes would be labeled 1/25, 2/25, 3/25, etc. Please do not mark any other information on the boxes.  Upon receipt of the boxes and records transmittal sheet, Records Center staff will complete the appropriate box labeling.

 

Box Number Example                                                                                                           

 

Front of standard records center boxes.

Step 5:  Records Transmittal Form

Multiple record series must NOT be listed together on one transmittal form. A separate transmittal form must be filled out for each record series.  Please complete a records transmittal form online from the link above.

Records transmittal forms alert archives staff to impending records transfers.  They also document the official transfer of records to the University Records Center.  Office staff should retain a copy for their files, place a copy in box number 1 of the shipment, and send a copy via inter-office mail to the University Archives (LRC 126).  Please do not forget to include a copy of the box-list inventory as described in Step 3.

Step 6:  Transfer to the University Records Center

Archives staff will not pick-up and transfer records from your office to the University Records Center. When you are ready to transfer your boxes, go to the Central Services web site to fill out a work order. To fill out a work order select the "Place an Order" box on the Central Services web page which will prompt you to log in. After logging in, under the Disposition Process category, fill out a Property Disposals Work Order form. Simply follow the submittal steps and place the order. You will receive an email confirmation that your order has been placed. If you do not have an account number either call 227-2454 or send an email to printing@nmu.edu with all of your contact information.