Preparing records for transfer instruction

Instruction statement

This procedure relates to hard copy university records created or managed by or on behalf of the University. This procedure applies to all University operations including those of RMIT University controlled entities, outsourced providers, offshore partners and any contractor or other body engaged by RMIT.

Includes student files.

This procedure applies to the transfer of hard copy records, which are appraised as temporary or permanent value, to Secondary Storage or to Archival Custody respectively, in accordance with standards established by the Public Record Office Victoria (PROV).

This Instruction refers to ‘Agencies’ which include external parties to RMIT.


These instructions may deviate only if advised by the Archivist or Manager, Records Management Unit.

Electronic records retention and transfer of electronic permanent records to the Public Record Office Victoria is managed by the University Secretariat. Contact the Manager, Records and Archives for advice.

Instruction steps and actions


Inactive records must be regularly reviewed for transfer or destruction. Refer to the Transferring records procedure, Record retention and disposal procedure, and Moving records procedure before enacting any of the Instructions below.


2.1 Accession Number

Upon approval by RMIT Archives of the eligibility of records for transfer, and satisfactorily completed Records questionnaire form, the RMIT Archives will issue an accession number. There may be some instances, however, where several accession numbers are issued due to different record groups being transferred.

The accession number is used to identify your records. It is a unique identifier and appears like this, eg. 2001/1/1. In this case, ‘2001’ signifies the year of transfer, ‘1’ identifies this transfer as the first for 2001, and the last digit (1) identifies the box number.

In all instances, only the accession number is to appear on boxes. Do not label the boxes with any other information other than this number.

Always place the accession number below the finger hole, as shown in this illustration:


The first two digits of the accession remain constant, but the last digit must be changed to reflect the box number. For example, the first box will read: 2001/1/1, the second 2001/1/2, the third 2001/1/3, and so on, as indicated in this illustration:


2.2 Archive Boxes

Archive boxes are flat and must be folded into shape. They do not require taping to hold them together unless they are damaged.

The most common archive box is the A1 standard box (180mm width x 400mm deep x 250mm height) that is used for folders and files.

Please contact the RMIT Archives in regards to the supply of boxes because some boxes will not be accepted for transfer. Depending on the quantity of boxes, supply is usually at no cost.

Always ensure records are placed in boxes in the order in which they were originally maintained. For example, if files were maintained in alphabetical order according to title then place such files in the box according to that order. If financial records were maintained according to batch number then maintain that arrangement within the boxes.

Items must be placed in boxes from front to back. The front of the box is the side in which the lid closes, as shown in this illustration:


Boxes should not be completely full. Leave approximately 5 to 10 centimetres so that files, folios, cards, etc., can be removed and replaced without damage.

Always place files and volumes into boxes with tabs or spines (titles) showing in a uniform manner, thereby aiding retrieval.


Process Overview – Steps & Actions


i) Contact RMIT Archives in writing (email / memo) to advise of pending transfer well in advance. Provide details of the collection in accordance with the Records Questionnaire Form or as advised by RMIT Archives.

Academic Portfolio / School / Student Administration / Agency

ii) RMIT Archives will allocate an accession number to the collection being transferred, and supply a template for listing and boxing.

RMIT Archives

iii) Standard archive boxes (A1 type) must be used which are available from RMIT Archives.

RMIT Archives / Academic Portfolio / School / Student Administration / Agency

iv) Refer to Step 2 above to facilitate transfer tasks, and label each box to be used with the accession number and the box number.

Academic Portfolio / School / Student Administration /Agency

v) Complete the supplied template to list the contents of each box. At minimum, the listing must include box number, and title of each folder

Student records should include the student ID, complete name of student, and year of last attendance. Arrangement of academic student files when active according to the Creation and Maintenance of Academic Student Files Procedure will facilitate content listing.

Academic Portfolio / School / Student Administration /Agency

vi) E-mail completed listing to the RMIT Archives.

Academic Portfolio / School / Student Administration /Agency

vii) Upon receipt of e-mail, RMIT Archives will make arrangements with the agency to barcode boxes relocating to Secondary Storage, or discuss transport of boxes relocating to Archives.

RMIT Archives / Academic Portfolio/ School / Student Administration / Agency

viii) Upon completion of barcoding, arrangements for the relocation of boxes to Secondary Storage can be completed.

RMIT Archives / Academic Portfolio/ School / Student Administration / Agency

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