Record Storage and Transfer Guidelines
Transferring Hard-Copy Records to Archives or the Federal Records Center (FRC)
- Before weeding your files:
- If you do not yet
have a records schedule for your office's technical or
contact the Records Manager (RM)
- If you want to make a routine transfer of administrative
(business, non-technical) records in accordance with an established records
schedule, contact the lab's Records
Manager (RM). Provide the following information:
Follow subsequent instructions to complete the records transfer.
- contact name and transferring office
- total number of boxes
- inclusive date range (start and end years)
- description (with sufficient detail to verify compliance with records schedule)
- file/folder list
- format type (for non-paper-based or special format records, e.g., microfilm, engineering drawings, media)
- When transferring files from drawer to box, be careful to retain the original file order.
- The larger, two cubic foot bank "transfiles" are not accepted for
storage. They are difficult to carry, do not stack well, and do not fit on the storage shelves.
- Files should be removed from hanging folders and identifying information from the hanging folder tabs
transferred to upturned sheets of bond paper. Do not send hanging files to storage, as they almost double the space
used by the files.
- Also: remove any files/documents stored in three-ring binders, and place the documents in file folders.
(Three-ring binders do not fit into standard records storage cartons, AND they unnecessarily
increase the volume of the records by at least one-third.)
- Permanent archival records retirements -- applies to science, engineering and top-level administrator records
- Archival (permanent retention science or engineering or high-level administrators)
records must be stored in standard acid-free, lignin buffered records storage cartons
(1 cubic foot). These will be provided by the archives at no charge.
- Boxes should be labeled IN PENCIL on the fronts, giving the
office of origin, the record series, and inclusive dates. (e.g. Associate
Director, Research Division : Subject files, 1965-1975.)
- If more than one box is transferred, the boxes should be
numbered consecutively reflecting the file's original
alphabetical or numerical order.
- A folder listing of the contents of each box should be
made before transfer. An electronic template for folder listings can be
obtained from the AHRO. Place a copy of each box's listing in
the top of the corresponding box, and retain one copy of the list for your
- When the boxes are ready, e-mail a copy of the completed
listing to the AHRO, and let us know the current location of the boxes. We
will make arrangements with Labor Pool for pickup from your location and
delivery to the AHRO Storage Area.
- On receiving the records, the Archivist will enter
a record into the Archival Collections Index (a
standardized database) when assigning it a unique
accession number. The file is easily searchable by group, names, and other index
terms. If you need information or assistance in using the database, or finding a non-public database record,
please contact the Archivist.
- Records will be stored in the SLAC archival storage
facility or with the AHRO off-site storage contractor (if they are of
continued use for laboratory or scholarly purposes) or temporarily
housed in the Federal Records Center, San Bruno if so required by
DOE records schedules.
- Temporary records retirements to the FRC -- applies to routine administrative, financial, safety, and
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will cease acceptance of ALL temporary records beginning 7/1/2024.
Please contact the SLAC Records Manager *in advance* of the 6/30/2024 deadline for transfers.
NARA will continue to service existing temporary records transferred to the FRC before 7/1/2024.
Note: This format change requirement will not have any effect on the required retention periods for records
created by SLAC: the existing retention requirements will remain the same as they are now, unless changed via separate
agreement between NARA and the DOE.
SLAC offices which currently retire inactive temporary records have been notified of this change.
- Records Center Storage Boxes must be used to pack non-permanent records. The Federal Records Center (FRC) requires
using a standard-size record box (14 3/4inch X 12 inch X 9 1/2 inch) for legal- or letter-size files which can be ordered by
the retiring office from the SLAC contractor for office supplies in bundles of 25 with the National Stock Number: NSN
- Assembly instructions for FRC
- Identify and separate your records into series (block of records with the same disposition authority).
Each series will be handled as a separate transfer. Each transfer must consist of at least one box.
- Arrange files by name or by date. Please do not over pack the boxes.
Leave a 1 - to 2 - inch space in each box to allow ease of reference.
Do not put additional material on the bottom, side, or top of the records.
- Box labeling. Specific box labeling instructions will be provided before shipment. Until they are received, make
any notes needed on the outside of the boxes in light pencil.
- Include a copy of the detailed folder list of each box in box #1. Retain one copy of the list for your future reference.
- When shipping approval is received, AHRO will schedule an appointment with the transferring office to check the box packing
and contents list in preparation for shipping. AHRO will submit a shipment request to the SLAC Shipping Department, which will
coordinate pickup with the transferring office.
- AHRO will also provide the transferring office with a copy of the final transfer form (SF 135) for any future retrieval
Transferring Electronic/Digital Records to Archives or the
Federal Records Center
- The format of a record does not affect its appraisal and retention
- Electronic / digital records created at SLAC must be scheduled and retained
- See Electronic Records Archiving @ SLAC for further
Access to Records in Storage
- Archival records are housed in a secured area in
the Central Lab Annex or with our archival storage contractor. If you
need access to boxes or have a specific folder you would like to
retrieve, contact the
directly. You will need to provide the Identifier number (from the
Archival Collections Index), box label
information, and file folder name, if
known. Since some records are stored off-site, we advise that you give
us at least 24 hours notice.
- Records housed at the
Federal Records Center in San Bruno also can be accessed by
authorized staff. For instruction on how to access files at the FRC
contact the SLAC Records
Manager. You will need to provide information from the original
records retirement paperwork (SF135 and file list) in order to accomplish retrieval.
- Records are retrieved for representatives of the retiring office ONLY.
Temporary Relocation of Current Files
With space at a premium at SLAC, many offices are forced to
use storage areas to house current records that can no
longer be confined to file cabinets. These files may end up
in anything from a hallway closet to a storage room in a
basement to the warehouse. Whatever the situation, office
managers must assure that the records
Too often, records are merely dumped in a convenient area until the
area becomes inundated with other boxes or slowly collapsing
transfer files, and needed records are buried under a mass
of obsolete material. To prevent this from happening, the
following guidelines should be followed when records are
transferred to a temporary location not in the office of
- are housed for the
- that they are accessible and manageable
according to SLAC and DOE records management procedures, and
- that records of permanent value will not be lost.
- Inform the Archivist of the action to be taken,
including the specific location.
- The temporary site should be secure, clean and dry,
not subject to high temperature or excessive fluctuation
- Be sure that boxes are clearly labeled, and that
boxes are stored with labels showing.
- DO NOT store boxes on the floor. They must be on a pallet
or platform at least 3 inches high, so that they will not be
subject to damage from pooling water.
- The office of origin must create a contents list of
- The office of origin shall have full responsibility
for maintaining the records and providing access to the
records until a final transfer to the Archives or the
Federal Records Center is made.
Digitization of Paper Records
Staff who undertake digitization of paper records need to be aware that their project(s) must meet U.S. federal
government digitization requirements as specified in
36 CFR Chapter XII, Supchapter B, Part 1236, Subpart D.
Capturing Departing Employee’s Federal Records
A DOECAST dated January 9, 2001, “Annual Information
Update on Disposition of Federal Records”, defined Federal
Records and discussed retention of these records. This is
especially critical as the time of the inauguration of the
President and turnover of the political positions occurs.
Each Program Office Records Liaison Officer (RLO) and site
Records Management Program Officer (RMPO) are responsible to
take the actions necessary to ensure that the records of the
departing managers and staff are captured and managed as
All electronic and e-mail records of these departing
employees must be collected along with their paper files.
These records should be collected and retained in electronic
formats, if possible. A partnership between the RLO/RMPO,
information technology staff, and the departing employee’s
secretary will ensure that federal records are retained and
made available to the incoming administration and posterity.
Capture and storage of these records may be accomplished
using one of the following options (in order of preference).
The actual method chosen depends on the computer hardware
and software configurations at your location:
- Filed in an electronic records repository,
- Stored on the Departmental/Division LAN in a
- Copied to portable media (CDs or Diskette),
- Hard drives be removed from the computers prior to
making the equipment available to another employee,
- Printed and filed as paper records.
The software necessary to read these records must also be
retained if it is not a commonly available program at your
The RLO or RMPO must review these records to remove
duplicates and files that are not records from the
collection. It is not necessary to retain both a paper copy
of a record as well as an electronic copy as long as the
file creation date, and distribution information is
available on the paper copy.
SLAC Records Management and Archival services are provided to the lab community in accordance with the
Archives SLA and the Records Management SLA service level agreements.
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