Transferring Records

University records are transferred to University Archives & Historical Collections (UAHC) according to the assigned retention schedules. The following sections outline the procedures for accomplishing this.

Ordering boxes

For purposes of standardization and preservation, UAHC only uses a specific kind and size of box made with acid-neutral cardboard. Offices must order our specific boxes through MSU Stores, which can be done through Spartan Marketplace. Please use the stock number 17005000–Box, Archive when ordering. The boxes are available in any quantity. THESE ARE THE ONLY BOXES THAT THE ARCHIVES WILL ACCEPT.

If records arrive at the Archives in incorrect boxes, Archives staff will re-box the materials at a cost of $5 per box. Offices can avoid paying this fee by sending materials to the Archives in the correct boxes or by accepting return of the materials and re-boxing them in their office.

Packing boxes

It is important to pack university records properly into boxes in order to preserve the intellectual integrity and the physical materials.

  • Keep folders in their original order and transfer records in the green hanging folders to file folders and label appropriately. PLEASE DO NOT INCLUDE THE GREEN HANGING FOLDERS. THEY DESTROY THE BOXES AND TAKE UP VALUABLE SPACE.
  • Remove items from three ring binders and either place the materials in file folders or separate out the materials by labeled pieces of paper.
  • Place the records upright in the boxes from front to back (11 7/8-inch direction for standard size files and 15-inch direction for legal size files). If the box is only partially full, insert filler material such as crumpled paper into the back of the box to allow folders to stand firmly upright. Fill each box without overfilling to avoid damaging the records and making retrieval more difficult.
  • PERMANENT RECORDS SERIES MUST BE BOXED SEPARATELY FROM TEMPORARY RECORDS SERIES. If you are unsure whether your records are permanent or temporary, please review the University's records retention schedules.
  • A transmittal/inventory form (found in the forms section) needs to be completed for each records series. When you are sending permanent materials to the Archives, please use a separate transmittal form (you will need one form for permanent materials, one form for temporary records.)
  • When placing records in the boxes, be careful to maintain the filing structure for that records series. For example, if the office created and stored these records in an ascending chronological order when they were active, box them that way for inactive storage.
  • If you are sending the Archives permanent materials, be sure to identify whether or not the materials are restricted on the transmittal form. All temporary materials are automatically restricted to the originating office.

Do not permanently label the boxes at this time. A permanent tracking number is assigned by UAHC.

Filling out the transmittal/inventory form

The transmittal/inventory form must be filled out completely. This form serves as a record of what has been transferred to UAHC and is useful when retrieving records. For questions regarding any of the fields, please contact the UAHC staff at (517) 355-2330 or archives@msu for help.

Submitting the inventory

After completing the transmittal/inventory form, send the form to UAHC via e-mail at or by campus mail. Upon review by the staff, a tracking number will be provided to you.

Labeling the boxes

Correctly labeled boxes are important for accountability and retrieval of records. Once UAHC has provided a tracking number, boxes can be labeled. All information needs to be written on the boxes below the top of the box cover:

  • Write the tracking number directly on one end of each box with an indelible marker. Do not attach adhesive labels to the box.
  • Write the box number (e.g., Box 1 of 10, Box 2 of 5, Box 1 of 1) near the tracking number. No additional information needs to be written on the box.
  • Make sure that the label information is visible when the box top is on.

Arranging for pickup

When you are ready to have the box(s) picked up, go to, click on Service Request, log-in with your NetID, and and select Campus Pickup.

In the four required Recipient Information fields, please enter the following information:

Contact Name: Archives

Phone: 355-2330

Building Name: Conrad Hall

Room #: 101

Enter the box quantity and weight, if known. For Pickup Location, indicate the proper pickup site. Click submit, print out the receipt, and place the receipt on the archive box(es) for pick up.

Additional Records Management Services

These services are offered to departments who may not have adequate staffing or resources to complete the records management transfer process on their own. Offices and departments may choose to complete the transfer process entirely on their own, without using any of the below services. Details on the additional Records Management Services can be found here.

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