September, 1996

This leaflet explains procedures for transferring the archival records of state agencies to the Department of Archives and History. It is designed to accompany Form GR-1, "Archival Records Transmittal Form." To transfer your agency's archival records, please follow the steps below.

1. Inventory Records for Transfer

  • You must first determine if the records you wish to transfer are eligible for transfer to the Archives. Use your agency's approved Records Disposition Authority as a guide. Consult the records title and disposition instructions. If you do not have an approved Records Disposition Authority, or if you need help in identifying and preparing your records for transfer, call the Government Records Division of the Archives at (334)242-4452.

  • After identifying records eligible for transfer to the Archives, estimate the number of boxes you will need to pack and transfer the records. The Archives requires the use of specially designed acid-free boxes, 15" x 12" x 10" in size. (See Below) Each box holds one cubic foot of records. In comparison, a letter-sized file drawer holds 1.5 cubic feet, and a legal-sized drawer holds 2 cubic feet. If you are transferring less than one cubic foot of records, the Government Records Division can advise you about what size box to request. Boxes and box labels may be ordered by calling the State Records Center at (334)242-4306 or the Government Records Division.

2. Pack the Records

  • Assemble the boxes, using the directions printed on the box.

  • Put only one type of record in each box.

  • Place the records in the box vertically, and in the same order that they were kept in the office.

  • Place letter-sized folders across the 12-inch side, facing the front of the box.

  • Place legal-sized folders across the 15-inch side, facing the left side of the box.

  • Do not over pack or force records into a box; leave at least one inch of space for ease of access.

  • Include any file listing or index in the front of the first box. If you create a container listing on your computer, copy that listing onto a 3.5" floppy diskette and send it with the records. Be sure to label the diskette and to indicate the type of software used to create the listing.

  • If you have bound volumes or other materials that will not fit in a box, please contact the Government Records Division for further instructions. Note: the procedures covered in this leaflet do not apply to electronic records. For information and assistance in providing long-term access to records in electronic format, contact the Government Records Division.

3. Prepare the Box Label

  • Box labels may be ordered from the Government Records Division (see sample below).

  • Type the box label according to the instructions below:

    • Department: Name of your department.
    • Division: Name of your division, if applicable.
    • Records Title: Write the title exactly as it appears in the Records Disposition Authority.
    • Inclusive Dates: Beginning and ending dates of records in the box.
    • Box Number: Assign a number for each box.
    • Total Boxes: Total number of boxes in the shipment.
    • Location Number: LEAVE BLANK (for Archives use).

  • Place the box label in the lower right-hand corner of a 12-inch side (the side with the handhold). The label has glue on the back. To attach, moisten the back and apply to the box.

4. Complete the Archival Records Transmittal Form

  • Archival Records Transmittal Forms may be obtained from the Government Records Division. For each type of record listed in your Records Disposition Authority that you wish to transfer (e.g., Minutes of Meetings, Case Files), you must complete a separate transmittal form. Type or print (in ink) the following information.

    • Department: Name of your department.

    • Division: Name of your division, if applicable.

    • Address and mailing address (if different) of your agency.

    • Records Liaison: Name of the person with responsibility for storage and disposition of the agency's records.

    • Telephone: Telephone number of records liaison.

    • Records Liaison Signature and Date: Liaison signs here and indicates the date the form was completed.

    • Records Title: Title exactly as it appears in the Records Disposition Authority and on the box label.

    • Access Restrictions: Indicate if access to the records should be restricted.

    • Reason for Restrictions: Cite the legal statute or regulation that restricts access to the records.

    • Arrangement of Records: Choose the category (alphabetical, chronological, numerical, or unarranged) that best describes the arrangement of the records.

    • Total Boxes: Indicate total number of boxes in shipment.

    • Total Cubic Feet: Estimate total cubic feet in the shipment. Example: An archival box will hold one cubic foot, so that if you are transferring 5 archival boxes, you have a total of 5 cubic feet.

    • Date Span: Dates of earliest and latest records in each box.

    • Contents: Additional information about the contents of each box. When the records are arranged by a specific filing system (i.e., alphabetical, numerical, or chronological), indicate the contents of the first and last folders in the box (e.g., "Alabama-California," or "100-200").
    • Unit Number: Start with number 1 and number each box in the shipment. If your shipment is too large to list on a single sheet, use Archival Records Transmittal Continuation Pages to complete the transmittal.

  • Send the transmittal form for review by the Government Records Division at the address indicated at the top of the form. If the transmittal form is incomplete or inaccurate, it may be returned to the agency for correction. If this is the first time that your agency has transferred records to the Archives, or if the volume of records being transferred is large, a Government Records Division staff member may visit the agency to check the records prior to transfer. After approval, the records can be transferred to the Archives.

5. Transfer of Records to the Archives

    You will be contacted to arrange a convenient time for delivery by the agency or for the Archives staff to pick up the records.

  • After the Archives has received the records and formally accessioned them, you will be sent a copy of the transmittal form with an assigned accession number to acknowledge the legal transfer of custody to the Archives. This action also acknowledges the Department of Archives and History's responsibility for the security of and access to the records.

  • Pursuant to a resolution passed by the State Records Commission on April 30, 1992, the Archives may remove selected materials not of permanent value from public records transferred to its custody and dispose of them in an appropriate manner. You may request copies of this resolution, "Establishing the Authority of Alabama Government Offices to Dispose of Recorded Materials Not of Permanent Value," from the Government Records Division. If such a disposal is being considered because records have been reappraised, your agency will be notified before any records are destroyed.

  • Be sure to keep the transmittal form as your record of the transfer and refer to it if you need to contact the Archives about your records.

    For further assistance 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

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Revised: 3/25/97