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University Archives: Transferring Administrative Records

Introduction

The University Archives is the official repository for UCI’s records of lasting value and historical importance. The Archives collects inactive university records documenting the university's decision-making processes, culture, policies, events, and people of the Irvine campus. Their retention, preservation, and accessibility supports UCI's commitment to instruction, research, and public service. Records are selected for permanent retention by evaluating their long-term value; those retained in the Archives are those that best document the functions and history of the university. The archives does not acquire records of temporary or short-term value.  

Records produced by an employee in the course of University business are the property of the University. The Regents have charged the Records Management Coordinator and the University Archivist with deciding how to dispose of these records when the department is no longer actively using them. To contact the University Archives, please email us at: ARCHIVES_EMAIL

 

Do my department's records belong in the Archives?

The Archives accepts records documenting UCI activities, functions, decisions, and/or policies and programs (both adopted and rejected), in every format, once they are no longer needed for current use.

Compare your records to the records schedules in the University of California Records Disposition Schedules Manual. You may also consult the University of California's Business and Finance Bulletin RMP-2, Records retention and disposition: principles, processes, and guidelines. Some instructions include the phrases "then to Archives" or "Subject to archival review." That means you must bring them to the attention of the University Archivist once they are no longer regularly used. However, there are some records not listed in the Disposition Schedules as "to Archives" that may, nevertheless, belong in the Archives. If you are obligated to keep the material permanently in order to conduct business, if you must maintain it to meet fiscal or legal obligations, or if it has research value, contact us at to determine whether your materials should be transferred.

The following examples may help you make a preliminary analysis of the historical value of your records. Please allow the University Archivist (ARCHIVES_EMAIL) to assist you in making any final decisions.

Examples of archival records (What to transfer)

  • Constitutions and by-laws, minutes and proceedings, and reports of departments, committees, or task forces
  • Publications created by your department, including newsletters, handbooks, annual reports, program announcements, directories, catalogs, brochures, posters, and press releases
  • Policy and procedure documents, or those records that document decision-making processes
  • Correspondence, e-mail, and subject files of academic department heads, program heads, and senior administrators
  • Self-studies, histories, and accreditation reports
  • Photographs (particularly if they are identified)
  • Audio and video recordings
  • Maps and architectural drawings
  • Records documenting the development of and significant changes in programs, curricula, or special projects (e.g. new or eliminated programs, majors, minors)
  • Records documenting relationships with the community, government, other institutions, or the business community
  • Records documenting significant events, including posters/fliers
  • Records documenting large sums of money
  • Records documenting diversity initiatives
  • Records documenting major research initiatives/projects
  • Records documenting important building issues, such as design and functions of new facilities, major renovations, destruction or repurposing of existing facilities

 

Examples of non-archival records (What not to transfer)

  • Exact duplicate copies of anything
  • Routine correspondence, e.g., requests and acknowledgments
  • Records of routine matters, e.g., requests for leave, purchase orders, receipts
  • Reference files or research material, including news clippings, publications, and form letters of departments or organizations other than your own
  • Rough drafts of publications, articles or reports (in most cases)
  • Blank forms, letterhead, or other stationery
  • Personnel records
  • Student information and other student records

How do I transfer my department's archival records?

A consultation with the University Archivist is essential before transferring records, as you will receive expert guidance on your unique records. Please contact the University Archivist (ARCHIVES_EMAIL) with the following information:

  • The types of records you have for transfer (i.e. subject files, committee records, personnel files, etc.)
  • How much material you have to transfer (i.e. number of file drawers, boxes, etc.)
  • Format: physical or electronic?

If the University Archivist decides that your records should be transferred to the Archives, she will confirm with you which records should be transferred and coordinate boxing the records or transferring digital files. She will want to know the scope of the records, which office produced them, and the business activities they document. We strongly recommend that you include any inventories or indexes you have made of the records, as these will assist us in providing accurate descriptions of your material.

Procedures for Preparing and Transferring Records

The University Archives only accepts material judged by the University Archivist as having long-term historical value. It is preferred that material be properly boxed by your department prior to pick-up. This will often result in a faster transfer time, too. Transferring a large amount of boxes (typically more than six) will need to be conducted by library facilities and requires advanced notice. Please plan accordingly.

  1. Use the right boxes and folders. Please use boxes measuring 10"x12"x15". Boxes and folders are available for free from the archives, and can be delivered or picked up.

  • For letter-size files, 2 file drawers will require 3 boxes.
  • For legal-size files, 1 file drawer will require 2 boxes.
  • For oversized material, please contact the archivist with measurements

  2. Box the records scheduled for transfer. The records will need to be boxed properly. Do not over-pack or under-pack the boxes. Ensure that the lid will fit properly

  • A correctly packed box will have enough space to remove and replace a file folder easily, but not so much space that the folders fall or bend.
3. Maintain the filing arrangement of the records (i.e. alphabetical, numerical, chronological, by subject, by committee).
4. Keep the records in their original file folders and ensure that the files are clearly labeled; include span dates. (Example: Space Planning, 1983-1990).
5. Remove materials from ring binders and hanging folders and place in file folders
  • Maintain the original order of the records.
  • Transfer information from the ring binders and hanging folders to the file folders. If more than one folder is needed then label as, for example, "folder 1 of 2," "folder 2 of 2," etc.
6. Fill out a Records Transfer Form and send to the university archives (ARCHIVES_EMAIL) or with the transfer
7. Clearly label the boxes with your department name and box number.
8. Do not send material identified above as being non-archival records.

How do I access my department's archival records?

Special Collections staff will provide you with reference assistance when you would like to access the records after the transfer. You will need to come in to the Special Collections and Archives Reading Room during open hours, or make an appointment to come in, and register as a researcher. Requests from your office to borrow material that you transferred may be accommodated in special circumstances.