Packing and Transfer Instructions

Storage of records in the Archives is done within acid-free storage container boxes, on steel shelving, and in a temperature and humidity-controlled area in the Center for Adventist Research. For anonymity, boxes are labeled only with a number. The record of box contents is accessible only to Archives staff.

Preparation of Records for Transfer

  • Records sent to the Archives must be placed in clearly marked manila file folders. All loose papers should be placed into file folders. Use a ball-point pen or pencil to label the folders with the same information as in the file. Adhesive labels fall off in a few years and should not be used.
  • Do not send hanging folders or ring binders. They damage the boxes and take up additional space. Most offices can save money by recycling hanging folders and ring binders. Materials from ring binders should be transferred into pressboard report binders, available from the Bookstore or office supply sources.
  • Paper clips should be removed; staples are less likely to rust over time. Rubber bands should not be used; they deteriorate rapidly. Offices can save money by recycling such materials.
  • Sort records to remove those which should not be sent to the Archives. For guidance, consult the Records Retention Schedule and the guidelines for retaining and weeding records.
  • As far as possible, send complete sets of records such as a complete year or full alphabet. This makes it easier to store records from a common source together, which facilitates faster retrieval. Sets of only one or two individual file folders may end up stored in a box distant from other materials from the same office, making retrieval more complicated.

Packing the Record Boxes

  • Use acid-free boxes only, available from the Archives. The boxes are 10”x12”x15” allowing storage of letter-size or legal-size documents, depending on how the box is loaded.
  • Place folders in the box in the same order in which they are arranged in the active files, with tabs all facing the same direction, in complete alphabetical or chronological order, to allow easier and faster retrieval.
  • If you have more than one type (series) of records in a box, separate them clearly.
  • Pack boxes snugly, but do not overstuff the boxes, making the sides bulge. Do not place additional files on top of or alongside the packed files. Make sure the lid fits firmly and securely.
  • Prepare a Records Information and Transfer Form for each box. Use the comments and other boxes on the form for any items which need special notice and/or an expanded description of their contents, e.g., Faculty Files, provide dates and alphabet range; Special Reports, list titles of the reports. The transfer form may indicate how many boxes are included (e.g., Box 1 of 6).
  • As you prepare the form, consider how you might ask for the records if you should need to retrieve them and provide enough detail to facilitate retrieval.
  • Make an extra copy of the transfer form(s) for your records. Place the transfer form on top of the contents inside the box.
  • Do not write on or stick anything to the boxes. This will help preserve anonymity as the boxes are transported and stored.

Final Steps

  • Arrange for delivery. You may want to deliver the records to the Archives yourself, or arrange for Custodial Services to deliver them (for a fee).
  • Call the University Archivist at 471-3373 if you need help, have questions, or to arrange for delivery. Or consult the website for more information:
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Berrien Springs, Michigan 49104