Transfer Records to the Archives

Digital Collections and Archives is the custodian of university records that have long-term value to Tufts. We rely on staff, administrators, faculty, and students to assist us in identifying and collecting these records. Offices may consult records they transfer to the Archives, as needed, even if the records are closed to other researchers. For more information about access, see our General Policy on Access.

1. Identify records eligible for transfer

Consult the Records Retention Schedule to determine which records are eligible for transfer to the Archives. Eligible records have a retention period of "Permanent" and a disposition of "Transfer to Digital Collections and Archives." When records are no longer used regularly by the offices that created them, the records are considered “inactive.” Only inactive records can be transferred to the Archives.

Note: The Records Retention Schedule also lists retention periods for non-permanent records, with a disposition of “Confidential Destruction.” Many types of records can be destroyed when no longer needed. Non-records are not eligible for transfer to the Archives. These include reference or duplicate copies, drafts, non-Tufts publications, and information created or received in the course of non-Tufts activities such as conferences.  

For help using the Records Retention Schedule, contact us. What you’re looking for may be listed under a synonym.

2. Contact the Records and Accessioning Archivist 

Let us know what types of records you're transferring, how many, and in what format - paper and/or electronic. Records are evaluated for their long-term value before transfer. We may have some specific questions about your records, and may ask to see them before transfer. 

If this is the first time you're transferring records to the Archives, we'll add you to our system and set up a customized Transfer Agreement Form (TAF), then send you instructions and an inventory spreadsheet. If you have previously transferred records to the Archives, we'll send you instructions including a link to your TAF and an inventory spreadsheet.

3. Prepare your records for transfer

Paper records

Find the right box(es). The shelves in the Archives are configured for only one box size, commonly known as "banker's boxes," which measure 12 x 10 x 15 inches. These boxes are available for purchase from WB Mason (items #FEL00703, #FEL12775, and #FEL0063601 are all acceptable).

All files should be boxed in their original filing order. For example, if the office filed records in an ascending chronological order (FY2015, FY2016, FY2017, etc.), box them that way. All files should be labeled. Please remove documents from hanging files and binders and place them in file folders, labeled appropriately.

Complete the inventory spreadsheet we sent you. This helps us confirm that the records you send to the Archives arrive as expected; it also enables us to quickly retrieve the records when your office needs to consult them later.

Secure the box lids with packing tape and label the boxes with the following information:  

  1. The name of your office/department
  2. Your name
  3. Brief description of contents and date range (for example, “Grant files, 1995-1996”)
  4. Box # (for example, 1 of 10)

Electronic records 

Most electronic records can be transferred via Box. We'll set up a customized Box folder where you will upload your files. Keep the original folder structure intact as your upload your files.

For very large digital transfers containing rich media such as images, audio, or video, it may be necessary to use a hard drive in order to preserve the integrity of the files. The Archives also accepts files stored on legacy media such as CDs, Zip disks, floppy disks, USB flash drives, memory cards, etc.

Remember: the Records Retention Schedule applies to electronic records as well as paper. Only records with a retention period of "Permanent" and a disposition of "Transfer to Digital Collections and Archives" are eligible for transfer.

4. Complete the Transfer Agreement Form

Log in to TAPER with your UTLN to complete your Transfer Agreement Form online. You’ll be asked a few questions about the records you’re transferring. You’ll then be asked to upload an inventory; please fill out the spreadsheet we sent you and upload it as your inventory. (The top row is filled in with sample data as an example; please delete this row and begin with your own data.)

5. Schedule a pickup

Submit a Facilities work order to request that the boxes be delivered to:
Digital Collections and Archives
Attn: Records and Accessioning Archivist
Tisch Library Room 102
35 Professors Row

Please notify the Records and Accessioning Archivist when Facilities picks up the boxes so that we are ready to receive them. You will receive a confirmation email when your records arrive at the archives and your Transfer Agreement Form is approved.