Michigan State University
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Due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus situation, the University Archives Reading Room is closed to researchers until further notice. During this time, we will continue to provide email and telephone reference support though responses may be delayed. If you have any questions, please contact us.

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On March 16, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an Executive Order temporarily closing many public spaces. All academic libraries are included in this order. The Main Library is closed, but we still offer virtual services and many resources do remain available. Please see our Online and Distance Learning resource page for specific Library resources. Reference services are still available via chat and phone. We do have temporary policies for returning/renewing material.

Transferring Records

University records are transferred to the University Archives & Historical Collections (UAHC) according to the assigned retention schedules. The following sections outline the procedures for accomplishing this.

Ordering Boxes

For purposes of standardization and preservation, UAHC only uses a specific kind and size of box made with acid-neutral cardboard. Offices must order our specific boxes through MSU Stores, which can be done through Spartan Marketplace. Please use stock number 17005000-Box, Archive when ordering. The boxes are available in any quantity. THESE ARE THE ONLY BOXES THAT THE ARCHIVES WILL ACCEPT.

If records arrive at UAHC in incorrect boxes, Archives staff will re-box the materials at a cost of $5.00 per box. Offices can avoid paying this fee by sending materials to UAHC in the correct boxes or by accepting return of the materials and re-boxing them in their office.

Packing the boxes

It is important to pack university records properly into the boxes in order to preserve the intellectual integrity and the physical materials.

  • Keep folder in their original order and transfer records in the green hanging folders to file folders and label appropriately. PLEASE DO NOT INCLUDE THE GREEN HANGING FOLDERS. THEY DESTROY THE BOXES AND TAKE UP VALUABLE SPACE.
  • Remove items from three ring binders and either place the materials in file folders or separate out the materials by labeled pieces of paper.
  • Place the records upright in the boxes from front to back (11 7/8-inch direction for standard size files and 15-inch direction for legal size file.) If the box is only partially full, insert filler material such as crumpled paper into the back of the box to allow folders to stand firmly upright. Fill each box without overfilling to avoid damaging the records and making retrieval more difficult.
  • PERMANENT RECORD SERIES MUST BE BOXED SEPARATELY FROM TEMPORARY RECORDS SERIES. If you are unsure whether your records are permanent or temporary, please review the University’s records retention schedules.
  • A transmittal/inventory form needs to be completed for each records series. When you are sending permanent materials to the Archives, please us a separate transmittal form (you will need one form for permanent materials, one form for temporary records.)
  • When placing records in the boxes, be careful to maintain the filing structure for that records series. For example, if the office created and stored these records in an ascending chronological order when they were active, box them that way for inactive storage.
  • If you are sending UAHC permanent materials, be sure to identify whether or not the materials are restricted on the transmittal form. All temporary materials are automatically restricted to the originating office.
  • Do not permanently label the boxes at this time. A permanent tracking number is assigned by UAHC.

Filling out the transmittal/inventory form

The transmittal/inventory form must be filled out completely. This form serves as a record of what has been transferred to UAHC and is useful when retrieving records.

Submitting the inventory

After completing the transmittal/inventory form, email the form to archives@msu.edu or by campus mail. Upon review of the staff, a tracking number will be provided to you.

Labeling the boxes

Correctly labeled boxes are important for accountability and retrieval of records. Once UAHC has provided a tracking number, boxes can be labeled. All information needs to be written on the boxes below the top of the box cover:

  • Write the tracking number directly on one end of the each box with an indelible marker. Do not attach adhesive labels to the box.
  • Write the box number (e.g., Box 1 of 10, Box 2 of 5, Box 1 of 1) near the tracking number. No additional information needs to be written on the box.
  • Make sure that the label information is visible when the box top is on.

Arranging for pickup

When you are ready to have the box(s) picked up, go to http://usd.msu.edu/, click on Service Request, log-in with your NetID, and select Campus Pickup.

In the four required Deliver To Information fields, please enter the following information:

  • Contact Name: Archives
  • Phone: 355-2330
  • Building Name: Conrad Hall
  • Room #: 101

Enter the box quantity and weight, if known. For Pickup Location, indicate the proper pickup site. Click submit, print out the receipt, and place the receipt on the archives box(s) for pick up.