The UTMB Records Center provides departments with cost effective storage of inactive records in paper, electronic, and microfilm formats.
- You retain ownership of your records. All material is managed under the direct guidance of your Departmental Records Coordinator, and can be accessed and retrieved at any time. When appropriate, access to your records can be limited to designated individuals, thus ensuring confidentiality.
- Inactive low-use record storage in active office space is a very inefficient proposition. Moving inactive and low-use records to the off-site Records Center frees up valuable office space for other uses, and frees staff to do other more pressing tasks. The savings and cost-avoidance can be significant.
- Temporary record storage areas are hot, humid, dry, or subject to mildew. Many institutions lose their vital records in such conditions. By contrast, storing inactive and low-use records off-site at the Records Center, in a properly and professionally maintained facility, ensures continuity in the event of a localized disaster. It also slows the deterioration of vital historically, legally and fiscally relevant documents, thus providing increased peace of mind.
- Inactive records stored on-site are often poorly organized and cataloged, and in inconvenient locations. In contrast, Records Management requires that departments catalog the contents of each storage box. Upon arrival at the Records Center, each box is assigned a computerized location and given a unique bar code label. This process ensures that Records Management can access and deliver records to you in a timely way. Typical deliveries are same day if the request is received by 10:30 a.m., or the following day if the request is received later in the day. This saves research time and the records storage box is delivered directly to your office.
If any of the records series on your RRS show a period of time in the Storage Retention Period field, you should be storing those records at the Records Center.
Our web site lists a condensed process for storing records, please see our downloadable User Guide for complete instructions.
1. Determine Storage Eligibility
- The Records Series must be listed on the current UTMB certified RRS.
- The records must have at least one year of retention remaining.
- The records must be inactive.
- Records must be approved for storage, organized, packed, indexed, and labeled correctly. See steps 2 through 8.
- Initial approval to store a specific records series must be obtained by preparing the Storage Approval form.
- Complete all items according to the Storage Approval - Instructions. Blank forms are located in the “Storage Approvals” section of your Records Retention Manual.
- Mail the original form to Records Management. Upon approval, a copy of the form is returned to you with an assigned RM 202 Approval Number.
Use only letter/legal storage boxes from Logistics Supply Management, (order # 60471). The use of alternate storage containers is limited and must receive prior approval from Records Management.
4. Pack the Records
Determine how the records will be divided for placement in the records storage boxes. The records series can be divided monthly, quarterly, annually by fiscal or calendar year, closure date, or by any other logical subdivision. such as by closure date. Contents in the records box must be the same records series, and also be eligible for final disposition at the same time.
When packing records in the storage boxes, keep them in the original filing arrangement, provided it is a logical and systematic order, whether alphabetical, numerical or chronological.
- For files in numerical order, place lowest number to the front of each box.
- For files in alphabetical order, begin with “A” in the first box.
- For files in chronological order, place them in the box by consecutive dates.
Each department is responsible for maintaining an index of files. As you pack the box, simply list the title of every file as it is placed in the box.
6. Identify and Number the Boxes
Use a black felt-tip marker to write the following information on the pre-printed end of the box.
7. Stack Boxes
- Stack boxes for each transmittal in one location within your department.
- Stack boxes in numerical order. The first box of the shipment will be on top of the first stack, the seventh box will be on top of the second stack, and so on. This is done to improve the efficiency of on-site inspection and accuracy of Records Center bar code label placement on each box.
- Stack boxes six high or less to prevent crushing of bottom boxes.
Complete all items according to the instructions for the Transmittal of Records. See also Transmittal of Records - Instructions. If the number of boxes is more than will fit on one page, use a Transmittal of Records - Continuation Page.
- List only the first and last file in each storage box on the RM 203.
- Temporary box numbers on the RM 203 must agree with numbers on the boxes.
- Mail the original completed form to: Logistics Records Management, Route 0918
- File a suspense copy of the RM 203 in your department Records Retention Manual.
Once the Transmittal form is received and checked against your department's RRS, we will enter the data into our Records Center database.
The database generates unique box and bar code labels for each box. These codes must be referenced whenever your staff requests a box from storage. A Records Specialist will visit the Records Coordinator onsite to inspect each box to ensure that:
- Records are not packed too tightly.
- Boxes are only marked with agency item and temporary box numbers in the appropriate locations.
- Boxes are the approved letter/legal boxes.
- Boxes are assembled properly.
- Box contents match the Transmittal form.
- The contents have been indexed, where applicable.
- No inappropriate items are in the box.
We will make arrangements with Logistics Distribution to have the boxes picked up and transported to the Records Center for storage.
The Department Record Coordinator, or any department staff identified with access rights on the Storage Approval form, completes a Records Circulation Request. See also Records Circulation Request - Instructions.
The key to retrieving records from storage is the box code number that was affixed to each box during the inspection process. These codes are listed on the final Transmittal form.
When you have filled out the form, fax it to the Records Center at ext. 75910.
We will make arrangements to have the box delivered to you. You may also pick up or view the records on-site in the Records Center reference area.
Typical deliveries are same day if the request is received by 10:30 a.m., or the following day if the request is received later in the day. On rare occasions, an emergency request will be delivered as quickly as possible, please call the Records Center to make arrangements.
Once the requestor receives the boxes, he or she must sign the Records Request form showing that the records were delivered to the temporary custody of his or her department. Retain a copy of the completed form in the “Requests” section of your department Records Retention Manual.
A box to be returned to storage after use by department staff will be checked out to the requester for 30 days. If the record needs to be kept at the department longer than 30 days, the department contact person should call the Records Center to extend the time period or to request a permanent transfer back to the department. To request the permanent transfer of an entire box of records back to the department, please contact the Records Center to initiate the transfer.
To maintain file integrity, records should be returned to storage as soon as possible or the Records Center should be notified that the record is “Not To Be Returned” (NTBR). Should department staff decide that a record needs to be returned to storage after it has been designated “NTBR” and removed from the storage index, the record will be processed as a new entry.
NOTE: If stored records have a high access rate or they are currently needed in your department, do not return them to storage. To return a box to storage, complete a Records Request, marked “returning” and fax it to Records Management.
The return to storage requestor must sign the Records Request form showing that the records were picked up. Retain a copy of the completed form in the “Requests” section of your department Records Retention Manual.
For records stored at UTMB's Records Center, staff members review records series disposition dates on a monthly basis to identify records that have reached the end of their retention period. Based on this review, the records center staff does the following:
- Checks all boxes scheduled for disposition to ensure that they are under no legal or other holds.
- Checks to make sure that all eligible boxes are in storage and none have been checked out by the department. If a box is checked out it must be returned before disposition can take place. Departments may not destroy records under the custody of the Records Center.
- Completes all data fields on the Disposition Log.
- Obtains departmental signature authorization to dispose of stored records.
- Completes the disposition process. Note: Final disposition of UTMB records may be destruction, archival review, or transfer to archives.
- Maintains a database of all UTMB records disposition activity.
Disposition Log of UTMB Records...
Must be faxed to Records Management for review and approval. Once a records specialist approves it and faxes it back, you must fill in the destruction dates, sign and date the form, and mail the original, signed copy to Records Management.
Original, signed copy must be mailed to Records Management.
Transmittal of UTMB Records...
Original, signed copy must be mailed to Records Management.
Must be faxed to Records Management once completed.
All forms are located in the Appendix of this User Guide. The PDF version of the guide contains Interactive data fields which allow the form to be completed electronically and printed.
Detailed instructions are on the back of each printed form, or included with each electronic version of the form.
When printing this handbook or our Adobe Acrobat forms, please set “Print Scaling”, located in the Print Dialog, to “none”. This will ensure that our documents print to their maximum designed size.
Contact us by phone:
M-F 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
1902 Harborside Drive