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Posts Tagged ‘records storage’

Can I Send Records Stored on Non-Paper Media to the State Records Center?

September 18, 2017 Leave a comment

We received the following question from a records officer, and thought it might be helpful for all records managers to hear the answer. So here it is in ‘Dear Abby’ form:


Dear Records Analyst,

I am in the process of preparing boxes to send to the Records Center, but heard that I should not send cassette tapes, VHS, DVDs, CDs, or flash drives. I have all of these, one or the other, in almost all of my files, some of which are from as far back as 1995. How am I supposed to archive these? Do you have any recommendations?

Sincerely,

Ms. Multimedia


Dear Ms. Multimedia,

Thank you for your question; I’m sure you are not alone in wondering how to manage non-paper media. Although it is possible for you to send records on electronic storage media to the State Records Center, it may not be advisable.

You should consider a few factors when deciding:

  • The law requires that you maintain the records in a manner that allows full access for the length of the retention period (Utah Code 46-4-301 and 501; Utah Code 63G-2-604). That means that you must be able to view or hear the recordings on DVDs, open the data files stored on flash drives, etc. for the amount of time specified by the retention schedule.
  • Paper is a very stable medium, but other storage media such as DVDs, cassette tapes, and flash drives tend to degrade faster when not kept in a climate-controlled environment. The Records Center is not a climate-controlled archival repository.
  • The bigger concern, is media and format obsolescence. For records that need to be kept longer than 9 years, you need to convert file formats before the file type disappears, and regularly move the files onto more reliable storage media. This is referred to as data migration; having and implementing a data migration plan is an essential part of maintaining electronic records.
  • If the records are scheduled to be destroyed after the retention period ends, then the responsibility to maintain the records begins and ends with your agency, and your agency is assuming all of the risk when choosing how and where to store the records.
  • If the records are scheduled to be transferred to the State Archives after the retention period ends, then the State Archives also has a responsibility to maintain the records and needs to be consulted as you are deciding how and where to store the records. The State Archives may want to take further measures to ensure their preservation. Contact your records analyst with any questions or needs that you may have.

If you are sending non-paper media to the Records Center or to the State Archives, please notify a member of the Archives staff at the time of transfer.

It is very easy to do. Just check the box on the online Record Transfer Sheet form that says “Transfer Includes Non-Paper Records” (shown below):

RTS_Non-paper media included

Thank you for your question, and best of luck to you!

Sincerely,

Records Analyst

Utah Division of Archives and Records Service

 

How to retrieve records from the State Records Center

June 19, 2017 Comments off

Although government records stored at the State Records Center in Clearfield are no longer actively referenced within your office (meaning they are used less than once a month), you may recall them whenever needed. This happens for a variety of reasons: There may be a GRAMA request for records that are housed in the State Records Center, a student may be requesting a transcript years after they’ve graduated, there may be a case file needing some additions. These requests may be for a single file or multiple files; a whole box or multiple boxes.

If you are recalling files, not boxes, separate retrieval forms need to be submitted for each file, even if they are in the same box. Once the request has been received by the Record Center staff, the records will be sent to the requester within two business days. If the files requested are so large in volume that they fill more than half the box they are stored in, the Record Center staff will send the entire box to maintain record order. If the file cannot be located, the Record Center staff will contact your office.

To locate individual files in a box, it is important that the agency provide Record Center staff with the exact file name as it was filed. As discussed in the last blog post titled “How to send records to the State Records Center”, these records are in the agency’s custody, therefore the files must be organized by the agency before transfer. Keeping an inventory of each box’s contents in the office and in the box will make it easier to retrieve files. You can organize the files by case number, by category or subject, alphabetical by last name, chronological order, or geographical order.

file-request

When you receive the file, there will be a file request form on the front. Do not remove it. Return it with the file so the Record Center staff can refile it correctly. If the file request form is not returned with the records, then the Record Center staff will not have the necessary information to re-file the records. The records will be returned to the agency until the proper organizational information and box details can be determined.

Are there any questions you have about using the Record Center? Let us know!

How to send records to the State Records Center

April 27, 2017 Comments off

Government records may be stored at the State Records Center in Clearfield when they are no longer actively referenced within your office (used less than once a month). This allows your agency to maintain ownership while using free off-site storage. Once you’ve completed a Records Transfer Sheet (RTS) online, you can coordinate with the Record Center staff to deliver your records.

Clearfield Building Sept 06 2012 011

Here are a few guidelines and pointers. First of all, verify that the record series have been scheduled and assigned a series number by the State Archives. If there is no series number assigned, work with your analyst to obtain one. If you send records to the State Records Center without a series number, they will be sent back to you. If the records are past retention, do not send them to the State Records Center to be destroyed.

Once the records are scheduled and you have received a series number, you are ready to box your records. The boxes must meet the specifications required by the State Archives. You can order boxes from Office Depot. Call 1-888-263-3423 and provide your Office Depot Customer Number. If you don’t have one, you will be invited to establish one. Office Depot must have your account open before they can view the box item number (285052) in their system. If you have any trouble ordering the boxes, call 801-736-7377.

The Record Center staff has provided a few do’s and don’ts for packing boxes:

  • DO pack records using the same arrangement you use in your office. You do not need to create a new filing system to send records to the State Records Center.
  • DO replace hanging file folders, and binders with labeled manila folders.
  • DO remove rubber bands.
  • DO tape boxes if you are using State Mail. If you are not using State Mail, it is not required.
  • DO keep an inventory of each box’s contents. A copy of this inventory should remain with the records officer and a copy should be kept in the box.
  • DO label boxes with a large black pen and include the following information directly on the box in the proper field: Agency name, agency-assigned box number, and record series number.
  • DO contact the Records Center at 801-525-3020 to make special arrangements for oversize materials like maps.
  • DO notify the Archives if you send cassette tapes,VHS, CDs, flash drives, or other non-paper media to the Records Center for storage by indicating so on the Record Transfer Sheet:RTS_Non-paper media included
  • DON’T over-pack the boxes. There should be about two inches of space in the box. Your hand should be able to easily use the handles on the side and easily fit in the box to retrieve folders. If you scratch your hand, the Record Center staff will too when retrieving, shelving and filing the box.
  • DON’T send cassette tapes/VHS or CDs to the Records Center for storage.
  • DON’T put records belonging to more than one record series in the box.
  • DON’T reuse old boxes that have already been written on.

Once boxes are prepared, fill out the online Records Transfer Sheet (RTS). Make sure you indicate on the transfer sheet if anything in the box is not paper. After you have submitted the RTS, the Records Center will email and let you know when you may send the records. If State Mail (801-323-4300) is available, you may send up to 6 boxes without prior arrangement.  Upon delivery, Records Center staff will verify that all boxes match the Records Transfer Sheet. They will send a Box Accession Report to whomever submitted the original RTS. As a note, if the record officer is not the person submitting the RTS, they will not receive the Accession Report, which they may need to have, so make sure you are keeping the record officer in the loop.

IMG_5398_StateRecordsCenter

Stay tuned for part 3- How to retrieve records from the State Records Center!

What is the State Records Center?

April 6, 2017 2 comments

As a records officer, you have probably heard about or used the State Records Center (Records Center) in Clearfield. Often the Records Center is mistaken for the State Archives and Records Service (Archives) building in downtown Salt Lake City. The Records Center is part of the Utah Division of Archives and Records Service, meaning it is managed by Archives staff, but the two locations have different roles in managing records. This post is the first in a three-part series to discuss the purpose of the Records Center, and how to utilize it.

The Records Center is a secure warehouse in Clearfield operated by the Archives in order to store your paper and microform records off-site. The Records Center has secure, stable conditions. This means that the building was built according to fire safety requirements, located away from flood plain areas, secured from water leaks and pest infestations, and equipped with an anti-intrusion alarm system.

File Jun 16, 10 31 35 AM

When records are no longer actively referenced within your office (used less than once a month), they can be stored in the Records Center in order to free up expensive office space until total retention has been met. Your office may transfer records to the Records Center, but this type of transfer leaves the ownership of the records in your hands. The public cannot access the Records Center. All requests must be made through the agency holding custody of the record(s).

Disposition, meaning transfer to an archival repository or destruction, is managed by the Records Center staff. No records are destroyed without signed approval from your agency.

You are welcome to tour the facility if your office is trying to determine the best off-site storage for your records. The State Records Center staff can be reached at 801-525-3020.

You may transfer permanent records that have met retention directly to the Archives in Salt Lake City, and these records would then be owned by the Archives for permanent preservation. If you have records to transfer to the Archives, please contact your analyst.

Stay tuned for part 2- How to send records to the State Records Center!

Lunch N’ Learn Series

August 9, 2013 Comments off

Lunch N’ Learn

How to Use the State Records Center

Friday, August 30 @ Noon

The Utah State Archives has scheduled a Lunch N’ Learn session for Friday, August 30th from Noon to 1:00 p.m. The topic for the hour is “How to Use the State Records Center” and will consist of a presentation and Q&A session. Feel free to bring your lunch and join us in learning about the State Records Center’s services and how to take advantage of them. The session is free, to register visit: http://archives.state.ut.us/cgi-bin/traininglist.cgiClearfield Building Sept 06 2012 006

The Lunch N’ Learn will be held in the Courtyard Room of the State Archives, 346 S. Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City. For questions contact Lorianne Ouderkirk, louderkirk@utah.gov or 801-531-3860.

Micrographics: Documents to Microfilm

July 29, 2013 Comments off

Utah State Archives Micrographic Services

Documents to Microfilm

Part 2 of 3

The micrographics department at the Utah State Archives is a full service microfilm department, meaning micrographics can develop, duplicate, and store both 16mm and 35mm films. Micrographics can also capture digital images to microfilm as well as produce digital images from microfilm and microfiche. The following post is part 2 of a 3 part series on the services available by the micrographics department.

Creating Images on Microfilm

Micrographics currently microfilm materials such as cemetery records, court records, birth and death certificates, minute books, fingerprint cards, and etc. The advantage to microfilming such records is that microfilm is the main preservation medium for archiving permanent records. Microfilm is an incredibly stable preservation format, if stored correctly and not accessed for use the film will last 500 years. Reference copies that are used on a regular basis will last between 10-20 years depending on the frequency of use and storage conditions.

Kodak 35mm Camera

Kodak 35mm Camera

Developing Microfilm

Once documents are microfilmed, Micrographics uses the Houston Fearless microfilm processor to develop the film for 65 cameras, scanners, and the Archives’ digital film converter. Since July of 2012 micrographics has developed over 2,000 master microfilm rolls. In order to ensure consistency in image quality, a control strip is run every morning before beginning to develop any film. The turn around time for developing and quality control of the film is generally about a week.

Houston Fearless Microfilm Processor

Houston Fearless Microfilm Processor

 

Micrographics: From Digital to Film and Back Again

July 22, 2013 Comments off

Utah State Archives Micrographic Services

From Digital to Film and Back Again

Part 1 of 3

The micrographics department at the Utah State Archives is a full service microfilm department, meaning micrographics can develop, duplicate, and store both 16mm and 35mm films. Micrographics can also capture digital images to microfilm as well as produce digital images from microfilm and microfiche. The following post is part 1 of a 3 part series on the services available by the micrographics department.

Digital to Film

In May of 2008, fourteen counties formed an agreement with the Archives to assist in obtaining the digital film converter; the counties  purchased rolls of film in advance and the funds from the advanced purchases were used to buy the digital film converter. The fourteen counties received credit and are able to use that credit to have digital images put on microfilm. Twelve additional agencies have also used this service to date.

The digital film converter creates high quality images in digital format to microfilm by running the images through a monitor and onto a camera which then creates the master microfilm (either on 16 mm or 35 mm). From July 2012 to date, micrographics ran over 12,000 rolls of film and 500,000 images through the digital film converter. The whole process is a huge benefit to both the agency and the Archives. The agency has the images in a digital format that both they and their patrons can access, and the Archives acquires a roll of microfilm for long term preservation storage.

Digital Film Converter

Digital Film Converter

Film to Digital

Another piece of equipment, purchased in 2012, is the Mekel Mach VII microfiche scanner. The microfiche scanner can produce images from microfiche cards to multiple digital formats including TIFF, TIFF group 4, TIFF uncompressed, JPEG, JPEG 2000, and PDF compressed. After scanning is completed the digital copy is saved on a CD, DVD, flash drive, or external hard drive, according to the agency’s request. Another piece of equipment, the Mekel Mach V machine performs the same function as the VII but instead digitizes images from microfilm. Since July 2012 micrographics has digitized almost 500 rolls of film and over 600,000 images.

Mekel Mach VII: Microfiche to Digital

Mekel Mach VII: Microfiche to Digital

Mekel Mach V: Microfilm to Digital

Mekel Mach V: Microfilm to Digital