PREPARING RECORDS FOR TRANSFER TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY:
CARE AND HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS
State employees perform many services and functions in government. At the heart of all this activity
is documentation. Citizens expect/demand services from their government, and they expect to be
able to trace, through documentation, just how well government is performing its functions.
Preservation of the historical documentation of Alabama government is one of the main functions
of the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH). It is therefore important for agencies
to transfer their permanent records to ADAH in a timely manner.
Employees should use the agency's approved Records Disposition Authority (RDA) to determine
what records are eligible for transfer to ADAH. ADAH staff members are available to assist in
identifying and preparing agency records for transfer to the Archives.
1. Obtaining Supplies. Because the use of improper storage containers can accelerate the
deterioration of paper, ADAH requires the use of specially made acid-free boxes. To obtain these
boxes and other necessary supplies, staff members should:
1. Estimate the number of boxes needed to transfer the records. Each ADAH box is 15"x12"x10" in size and holds one cubic foot of records (in comparison, a legal file drawer holds 2 cubic feet);
2. Obtain boxes and labels by contacting ADAH at 242-4452;
3. Build boxes according to instructions printed on each box;
4. Write only on the labels; not on the boxes.
2. Packing Records. After building the boxes, staff members should:
1. Ensure that all documents are in folders or binders, so records are identified and protected;
2. Remove all binder clips, rubber bands, and large paper clips from records prior to packing;
3. Pack the records on the side with the hand hold (12 inch side), if all of the contents of a box are letter size records, or on the long side (15 inch side), if any of the contents of a box are legal size records;
4. Place the records in the boxes in the same order in which the agency originally filed them;
5. Refrain from placing damp records or records containing mold, mildew, or insect-damage into a box (if any of these conditions exist, staff members should call ADAH immediately).
3. Completing Labels. To fill out the labels provided by ADAH, staff members should:
1. Use an ink pen to complete the label with agency and division name, records title, date span of records, and box number;
2. Leave the Location Number area blank;
3. Dampen the back of the label and attach to the box directly under one hand hold.
4. Completing Transmittal Form. To complete the transmittal form, which may be requested
from ADAH or downloaded from the website at www.archives.state.al.us, staff members should:
1. Complete all un-shaded areas of the form, making sure the form is signed;
2. Create a folder listing to improve access (although not required, if a folder listing is created, please provide Agency Name, Record Title, Date Span of Records, and Title of Each Folder);
3. Send completed form to ADAH prior to requesting records pickup;
5. Scheduling the Pick-up
Once ADAH receives the transmittal form, Government Records Division (GRD) staff members
1. Set an appointment for a GRD staff member to check the records.
2. Assist the agency in correcting any problems.
3. Schedule a pick-up date.
4. Pick up the records and deliver them to the ADAH.
Once the records are accessioned by ADAH, the department will return a copy of the transmittal to
the agency. This is the agency's receipt documenting transfer of legal and physical custody to
If you need assistance or supplies please contact:
Department of Archives and History
Government Records Division
P. O. Box 300100
Montgomery, AL 36130-0100
Telephone: (334)242-4452 FAX: (334)240-3433
ADAH web site: http://www.archives.state.al.us
e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org