Transferring Records

The Alaska State Archives accepts records directly from agencies when indicated on an agency or general records retention and disposition schedule, or when special circumstances arise. The State Archives maintains historical records originally created or maintained by an Alaska territorial or state agency. When records are transferred to the State Archives, the creating agency not only transfers physical custody, but also transfers legal ownership to the archives.

To find out whether records should be sent directly to the Alaska State Archives become familiar with the records retention and disposition schedule for your division or agency and the appropriate general schedule to review the appropriate records series. Agencies may send records directly to the State Archives if the records are of permanent historic value (designated by "PA" in the Total Retention column).

In the example provided above, items #001 to #004 should be sent to the State Archives directly by the agency. It is the agency’s responsibility to know when they are inactive (they no longer need regular access to them) so they can be sent to the State Archives.


Starting the Transmittal Process

Follow the steps outlined below if permanent records have been retained in the office for their authorized retention and are ready to be transferred to the State Archives:

  1. Verify retention period by reviewing your agency’s and/or one of the general records retention and disposition schedules. Agency and General RRDS are available online
  2. Complete the Transfer of Public Records to State Archives Form (Word)
  3. Email the Archivist II/TIS for approval to send records and attach the Transmittal Receipt to the email for reference. The Archivist II will respond within five working days to your agency’s request. If an electronic container list is available, please include the attachment within this email. The Archivist II, Chris Hieb, may be reached via email
  4. Once approval for the transfer is received, send boxes to the State Archives. Include the signed paper Transmittal Receipt with shipment. If a container list is available include the list for the box within each appropriate box. Please do not affix container lists to the outside of the box. Boxes should be sent to:
    • Alaska State Archives
      PO 110525
      141 Willoughby
      Juneau, AK 99811-0525
      Attn: State Archivist
  5. Once the State Archives receives and processes the material, a copy of the signed Transmittal Receipt will be mailed to the agency’s specified contact person. The final Transmittal Receipt will contain archive location numbers. It is beneficial for each agency to keep a copy of the transmittal for future reference.
  6. NOTE: This process may take several weeks

What happens to the records after they are sent to the State Archives?

Once the State Archives receives an agency’s records the collection is appraised and its relation to existing holdings, if any, is determined. Then the task of processing begins. All paper clips, metal fasteners, plastic bindings and/or coverings, and other unstable materials are removed. Should post-it notes be discovered they are either discarded or photocopied as they leave a glue residue that speeds up the deterioration process. Depending on the series and format recommendations, most of the records are refoldered in acid free folders. Once transferred, folder labels are transcribed in pencil from the original. The records are reboxed in acid free boxes and are shelved. In addition to the very physical tasks of appraising and processing, staff develop comprehensive finding aids to facilitate research and records retrieval.

Page last updated 02/01/2013