Records Schedules

Before you can retire any of your records to FRC, you need to be sure they are covered by an approved records schedule.

A records schedule is the document which provides mandatory instructions for what to do with records (and nonrecord materials) no longer needed for current business. It details how long records are to be kept in the office, if and when they are to be retired to the FRC, and if and when they are to be transferred to the National Archives.

Preparing Records for Retirement

Once you have completed your records inventory and sorted your records, you can prepare records for retirement to the FRC. Here are some tips to help you.

  • Identify the records to be retired.

    Separate records according to records schedule.

    Separate inactive records from active records.

    Separate the inactive records for each group by their closure date.

  • Prepare the records for boxing.

    Remove duplicate copies and nonrecord material.

    Prepare material for future recycling by removing plastic products (rubber bands, inserts, notebooks, label protectors, etc.). Staples, and paper clips do not have to be removed. You don't need to take pressboard folders with fasteners apart.

    Make sure all folders are labeled with a unique, meaningful name identifying the contents.

    Organize the folders in a logical order (e.g., alphabetical, chronological, numerical, or in the order provided by the file structure).

  • Box the records.

    Obtain and assemble new FRC boxes. Assembly instructions are provided with the boxes.

    Pack the folders into the boxes. The labels should face the front of the box which is the end opposite the stapled end. Do not overstuff the boxes.

    In pencil, number the boxes consecutively for each group on the front of the box. For example, the first box in a set of ten would be numbered 1/10; the second 2/10, and so forth to 10/10.

  • Prepare a box content list (or box inventory). Remember, the ability to retrieve the records will depend on the accuracy of the inventory.

    List each folder in each box according to the folder label and in the order in which it is packed.

    Make sure the box number on the inventory matches the number on the box.

  • Contact your Program Office, Region, or Center Records Officer for instructions on obtaining an accession number and who should prepare the following forms:

    Standard Form 135 - Request to Transfer - Federal Records Center.

    Send the forms to the appropriate office for approval.

    Make copies of the approved SF 135 and box contents list for your files.

  • Prepare for shipment. [See Using the Federal Records Center for more detailed instructions.]

    Once approval is obtained, write the accession number and box numbers on the front of the boxes in the appropriate places with a black felt tip marker.

    Place one copy of the box content list and the approved SF 135 in the first box of the accession and fold in the top flaps of the boxes. Copies of contents list should be placed in each box.

    Be available when the Facilities staff comes to remove the boxes for shipment.