Skip to main content.

Archives, History & Records Office

Hours: By appointment Monday-Friday during regular work hours.


Archives E-mail: slacarc[@]
RM E-mail: recordsmgt[@]
Phone: (650)926-3091
Post: SLAC Archives and History Office, M/S 82, 2575 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025.

Office Location: Bldg.50, Rm.122

Record Storage and Transfer Guidelines

Transferring Hard-Copy Records to Archives or the Federal Records Center (FRC)

  1. Before weeding your files:
    • If you do not yet have a records schedule for your office's technical or scientific records, 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:
      • 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)
      Follow subsequent instructions to complete the records transfer.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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 future reference.
    • 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.
  4. Temporary records retirements to the FRC -- applies to routine administrative, financial, safety, and personnel records

  5. 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 8115-00-1178249.
    • Assembly instructions for FRC boxes
    • 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 requests.

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 appropriately
  • See Electronic Records Archiving @ SLAC for further information

Access to Records in Storage

  1. 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 Archivist 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  • are housed for the required period,
  • that they are accessible and manageable according to SLAC and DOE records management procedures, and
  • that records of permanent value will not be lost.
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 origin. 
  1. Inform the Archivist of the action to be taken, including the specific location.
  2. The temporary site should be secure, clean and dry, not subject to high temperature or excessive fluctuation of temperature.
  3. Be sure that boxes are clearly labeled, and that boxes are stored with labels showing.
  4. 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.
  5. The office of origin must create a contents list of the records.
  6. 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 records.

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 separate directory,
  • 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 site.

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.

-- Return to top --

| Archives, History & Records Office |

Last Updated: 07/13/2023