University Archives and Special Collections
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Transferring Office Files to the University Archives
What Has Archival Value?
Preparing Boxes
Identifying Restricted and Confidential Material
Transfer Request Forms
Shipment of Materials

Physically Preparing and Packing Records

  1. Remove bulky hardware, such as paper clips, ring binders or rubber bands. (Over time, these materials can deteriorate or otherwise harm the preservation of records.)
  2. Place files in labeled manila folders (not hanging folders).
  3. Date all files, to enable later access. Even approximate dates (e.g., circa 1980-1985) are more useful than no dates.
  4. Pack files in records cartons supplied by the Archives. (Approximately two file drawers will fit into three record cartons.)

Keep files in proper alphabetical, numerical or chronological sequence.

Keep folders upright with labels facing forward. Pack files tightly enough to maintain the upright position, but loosely enough to permit easy removal. Files should not be bent or allowed to lean. (As a test, pull any folder; it should slip easily back into the box, but should not flop or curve.)

Labeling Boxes

  1. Each box should be clearly labeled in pencil on the narrow face of the carton. The label should include:
    • the name of the office
    • the series (general category) to which the records belong (e.g., correspondence, student records, subject files). Be as specific as you can.
    • the range of the material (whether it be alphabetical, numerical or chronological)
    • relevant dates
  2. The month and year of transfer should be written in pencil in the lower left-hand corner.
  3. The number of the box should be penciled in the lower right-hand corner, along with the total number of boxes being transferred (e.g., "Box 2 of 7"). Example of box label:

Dept. of Environmental Health and Safety
University Safety Committee Records, 1986-1990

(Date of Transfer: 7/94) Box 1 of 2

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The University Archives and Special Collections is a unit of
Scott Memorial Library, Thomas Jefferson University
1020 Walnut Street · Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-503-8097 / 215-503-2477

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