For Yale Offices

Preparing Records for Transfer

1. Contact the University Archives to receive assistance in planning for the appraisal and transfer of records.

2. Appraise the records. Using the Collection Development Policies, determine which records must be permanently retained by the University Archives, which are non-permanent, and those which may be disposed of.

When reading the Collection Development Policies, remember that the document types listed are representative samples; they are just the most commonly found document types in Yale’s many offices. Do not expect your office’s files to be an exact one-to-one match with the document types listed in the Collection Development Policies.

3. Consult with the University Archives to ensure that the appraisal is complete and accurate.

4.  Obtain archival boxes.  The Archives provides acid-free archival boxes for most types of physical records.  In addition to standard archival boxes, we also offer containers for maps, architectural drawings, photographic media, posters, films, audio and video recordings and many other items.  The Archives will provide a Yale office up to 50 archival boxes at no charge.  For transfers requiring 50 boxes or more, please email for more information.  

5. Neatly pack the boxes. Files and folders should be packed in the order in which they were kept in the office. 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.

Do not end a box when a file drawer is finished; each box should be filled. Under-filled boxes lead to damage to the records as folders collapse on themselves. Do not place loose papers in a box. All materials should be placed in folders which have identifying labels

Be sure to replace hanging file folders with regular file folders as hanging folders tend to damage and weaken boxes.

6. Label the boxes. Label (in pencil) each box with its appropriate number and your office or department name.

7. Download and save a copy of our inventory template (.xls format).

8. List the contents of each box, folder by folder, on the inventory. Save the completed inventory.

Diskettes, CD-ROMS and other electronic storage media should be specifically noted on the inventory.

9. Email the inventory to the University Archives at Archives staff will review the inventory.

10. Coordinate transfer of the records.

Offices can either deliver records to the University Archives directly or arrange with TR&S staff to have the records picked up. Upon the transfer of custody of the records to the University Archives, the University Archivist sends a letter of acknowledgement documenting the transfer of the records to the Archives. This letter includes the call numbers needed to retrieve files from storage, and states any restrictions on access that may apply. It also formally completes the accession transaction.

If you have any questions, please email us at

Last modified: 
Wednesday, September 1, 2021 - 11:38am