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Scientific Association Records Programs: A Beginner's Guide

Appendix D:
Sample Set of Instructions Outlining Procedures for Transferring Records to the Archives Currently in Use at the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Preparing Records for Transfer to the Archives*


Records being transferred to Archives should be appraised by Archives' staff before transfer. By appraise, we mean evaluating in terms of research or archival value. We will either discuss the transfer over the phone or come to your office to evaluate the records. We will also work with you in determining guidelines for future transfers. Questions you will probably be asked include: Who will be using these records and how often? Is this the entire collection or are there more boxes to follow? Are there restrictions on use? How long should the records be kept?


Because of space restrictions, the Archives cannot store multiple copies of items. As you pack items for transfer, remove anything above three copies of publications, printed material and form letters. Other storage areas may be used to store the multiple items.


Paige boxes, used exclusively by the Archives, will be supplied after it is determined that records being transferred are archival candidates. Because of the expense involved, Paige boxes can no longer be supplied for moving purposes. Special moving boxes, very similar to the Paige boxes, can now be obtained from Building Services at x6409. The larger Office Mover Boxes are also available from them.

Packing Records

A Paige box normally holds about 1/2 of a full file drawer so when ordering boxes, use that as a rule. Even if a collection of files does not fill up a box, use the box anyway. Archives will transfer them to smaller boxes later. Paige boxes were not set up to handle hanging file folders. The metal hangers tear up the sides of the box and also prevent the lid from fitting properly. If possible, please transfer records in manila folders rather than hanging folders. Keep the files in their original order.

Pick-up and Delivery

Once items are ready to be brought down to Archives, notify Michele Aldrich and we will make arrangements for the transfer. If it is a small collection of only several boxes and someone from your office can not bring them down, someone from Archives will pick them up. The Archives has a cart that it will loan for moving records. Larger collections will be picked up by Building Services. Please do not call Building Services yourself. They will not transfer archival collections without authorization from us.


1Original document prepared by Donna Wells.

APPENDIX D (continued)

Identification of Transferred Records


First, and most importantly, do not write or tape items to the outside of the box. Put all identifying information on a separate piece of paper and place it inside each box on top of the folders. This is to prevent the acidic inks and adhesive used in markers and tape from eventually eating through paper items.

Identifying information should include: the date items were transferred, the full name of the person supervising the transfer, the department, a short one line or one word description (e.g., correspondence, story files, canceled checks) and the years the collection covers. For example "Chron Files, 1984-1986."

Boxes should be identified based on the number of boxes in the total transfer. If a transfer has 5 boxes, label them as box 1 of 5, box 2 of 5 and so forth.

Finding Aids

For future reference, keep some sort of notation of transfers. For example, some offices keep a computer file of all transfers. Each transfer will have a different computer file name. Besides the date of transfer and the number of boxes, their computer file includes a list of the folder headings in each box or a general description of each box's content. When a file is needed, they can call down and provide us with the transfer date, the box number and the file heading. The offices normally provide the archives with a paper copy of each file. At the top of each page, provide label information listed above.

If you prefer not to keep computer files, write or type a list of folder headings or a general description of box contents and make a copy for Archives and one for your files. At the top of each page, provide label information listed above.

If the box contains case files that have the same type of information in each folder (e.g., membership surveys or applications), a list of folder headings is not necessary. In that case, the identifying information listed above is enough. Make sure the one-word/phrase description is specific enough to help with retrieval later.

* Original document prepared by Donna Wells.

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