How to transfer records

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How to transfer records

    Eligibility

    The University Archives and Records Center accepts records that are created in the fulfillment of Western's mission.  This includes:

    • The permanent, archival records of Western

    Historical records created at Western that document the activities, people, places, and programs that support Western's mission

    • The inactive, non-permanent records of Western that still have retention obligation remaining

    Records that are not historical but must be retained to satisfy legal, audit, or other requirements before they can be destroyed

    How to Transfer

    To transfer digital records, contact Tony Kurtz at tony.kurtz@wwu.edu or 650-3124. 

    To transfer non-digital records, use the following options:

    Transferring interfiles:

    Interfiles are files that need to be added to a box stored in the University Records Center because they were not filed in the box when it was originally sent to the Records Center.  Offices may request interfiling of those records by completing the form linked below.  If you are simply returning files that you had checked out from the Records Center, please contact us for assistance.

    To request an interfile, you must know the accession number, box number, and location for the box to which you wish the file(s) to be added (all of which can be found on your transmittal paperwork - or contact us if you do not have this information). Download and complete the form (open Excel spreadsheet) and return to archives.recmgmt@wwu.edu.

    For questions, contact Rachel Thompson, x6654. 

    More About the Archives and Records Center

    Why does the name include both "Archives" and "Records Center"? Where exactly do records get transferred?

    All records, whether historically important or not, have legal retention requirements related to the function attending their creation.  Some records are destroyed at the end of this required retention period, while others are preserved as historical records.  A records center stores records temporarily (at some point the records will either be destroyed or transfered into archival custody), whereas an archives stores permanent, historical records.  The University Archives and Records Center carries out both functions for WWU.

    Archives:  Some records possess significant, ongoing historical or legal value and are retained permanently as archival records.  In the case of these records, the retention schedule actually legally mandates preservation, not destruction, once the legal retention period has passed.  Upon satisfaction of any legal obligations related to the records' original function, archival records are put into the care and custody of the University Archives according to university policy and become part of Western's permanent, historical record.  The University Archives preserves those records and makes sure that they are available for reference and research on an ongoing basis.  For more information about the archival collection see the University Archives page. 

    Records Center:  The records center stores records that still have retention requirement remaining.  During this phase, records remain under the control of the responsible originating office, and records disposition occurs only with the involvement of that office.  For more information about the Records Center, consult the Records Center page.

    How do records become "archival"?

    According to university policy (download PDF), the University Archivist can assign "archival" status to any record created or used at Western to support the institutional mission.  This designation often happens as part of a formal retention schedule process, but it can happen at any time and in any context. For more information about how records are determined to be "archival," consult the University Archives Appraisal Guide (download PDF).

    The Archives collects archival records in any format--digital, paper, audiovisual, cartographic, etc.--as long as the records have archival designation and were created, used, or maintained by Western in carrying out the institutional mission.

    Many records are transferred to Archives as part of a designated disposition process outlined in a records retention schedule, while some are transferred on an ad hoc basis upon request.  In either case, Archives staff will coordinate with the office/person who is transferring the records.