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Records Management Program Procedures

5 Records storage


Archive box with lid, FPC8003637

Archive box with lid, FPC8003637

5.1.1 Type of boxes used for records storage

Because records may be stored for lengthy periods of time in warehouses where boxes are stacked four to six rows high, stronger and higher quality boxes must be used to store university records. The standard type of box currently accepted for storing university records is the ARCHIVE BOX WITH LID (item number FPC8003637) currently stocked and sold by W. B. Mason through the Blue Hen Market purchasing system. This is a 1.2 cubic foot volume box constructed of extra strength plain brown cardboard; there are no external markings on the sides of the box.

Do not use other boxes for the storage of university records, including the following:

  • Bankers’ boxes (of any type)
  • Copier paper boxes
  • Moving boxes
  • Check boxes

Records packed in these boxes will be returned immediately to the custodial unit for repacking.

If storage for oversized records such as blueprints, posters, ledgers, and other large format items is needed, contact UARM staff for additional guidance.

5.1.2 Items accepted for storage

The following items may be placed into storage with UARM:

  • Paper records
  • Photographic records
  • Portable digital media devices (hard drives, flash drives, etc.)
  • Audiovisual storage devices (cassette tapes, DVDs, VHS tapes, etc.)
  • Microfilm and microfiche records
  • Blueprints and architectural drawings

The following items may not be placed into storage with UARM:

  • Office supplies
  • Books and libraries
  • Personal, non-work related files, records, and items
  • Collections of journal article offprints
  • Pornographic material
  • Scientific and computing apparatus and hardware
  • Biological or taxidermized specimens
  • Chemicals, explosives, or munitions
  • Artwork and sculpture
  • Pharmaceuticals and medicines
  • Records contained within hanging files

UARM reserves the right to refuse to store any records or materials it deems unsuitable for storage for whatever reason. Ideally, whatever records are stored for a university unit are reflected as such on the retention schedule for that unit. Units should not send records to UARM for storage for records series that are not listed as available to store for that unit.

5.1.3 Packing records storage boxes

Optimally, a single records box contains records for no more than one or two records series. However, multiple series can be accommodated within the same box provided that markers are inserted to delineate which records belong to which series. Never combine records from multiple retention schedules within the same records storage box.

The arrangement of files within a records storage box is at the discretion of the custodial unit. Files may be arranged alphabetically, numerically, or using designations and order created by the unit. What is important is that this order is reflected accurately on the container list that corresponds to the box. If UARM staff cannot determine a box’s contents accurately, it may be returned for repacking. Contact UARM staff if assistance is needed to create filing schema.

It is imperative that the boxes of records sent to UARM for storage be closed flat with a lid and sealed. To that end, do not place items in the boxes such that they cannot be closed and sealed; if an object sticks above the top of the box, then repack the box or contact UARM staff about oversized item storage.

Do not store binders standing on end in a records box; it is acceptable to lay them flat within a box provided the box can be closed and sealed. Never send boxes for storage containing hanging files; the boxes cannot be closed and they will be returned immediately to the custodial unit for repacking.

It is recommended to leave a few inches of space in each box for the future addition of files and records.

5.1.4 Assignment of box numbers

Boxes of university records must be assigned unique numbers by UARM before they are placed into storage. This typically is a five-digit number assigned to each individual box. Never reuse previously issued or used box numbers; always obtain new numbers.

When boxes are prepared for transfer to storage, contact UARM for the box numbers. Boxes are assigned to a single records retention schedule and one or more records series. Write the numbers on the front sides of each box in black marker. It is unnecessary to write any other information on the box itself, just the box number.

Boxes must have received box numbers prior to transfer to UARM for storage. Unnumbered boxes will be returned to their custodial units.

5.1.5 Container lists

A container list simply is a document that describes the contents of an individual records storage box. There should be one container list associated with each box and it should reflect the actual current contents of that box (not the past or intended future contents).

There is no set format for creating a container list; it should be clear enough to enable any user to quickly locate a file within the box. The best and easiest method for doing this is to list the files contained within the box in the order in which they are stored. For example, if the files are for individuals and the files are placed into the box in alphabetical order by last name, the container list ideally would list each individual and file in that order. Alternatively, if the files are arranged by quarters of a fiscal year, then the container list should reflect this in a chronological list of fiscal year quarters.

It is extremely important to list the records schedule and series information to which the described records belong on each container list, otherwise UARM staff will not know how to file the lists and apply retention data to the box. A container list must be placed within each box sent to UARM for storage, and additionally must be sent by email to UARM.

A form that can be used to create and submit container lists may be found online at the UARM website at


5.2.1 Retrieval of records from storage

To retrieve records from storage, contact UARM staff to arrange for their transportation from offsite storage to campus. When the records are available, UARM staff will contact the requesting unit to inform them. It is necessary to know the box numbers for the boxes of records that need to be retrieved.

Generally, records are available on a next-business day basis provided that the request is received by UARM no later than 3:00 PM. Emergency requests with a same day, two-hour turnaround time can be accommodated at UARM discretion.

5.2.2 Transportation of records

Individual files and boxes of records may be picked up and returned in person at UARM’s facilities in Pearson Hall. UARM staff does not deliver or pick up records.

Individual files and boxes of records may be transported by University Movers. Use the “Request for Service – Facilities” webform.

Green deliver to Archives sticker.

Once new boxes are prepared for delivery to UARM for storage, obtain the appropriate delivery sticker (pictured here) to be affixed to each box; a webform on the UARM website is available for this purpose. Refrain from sending new boxes for storage with boxes containing records to be destroyed. As with the transportation of records retrieved from storage, University Movers may be utilized (see above).