University Records Centre

The Records Centre can be used to store paper records such as student files, assessed work (exam scripts), financial records, research data. Any records created as a result of departmental activities may be considered for transfer to the Records Centre.

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Further guidance on what is appropriate to transfer can be discussed during initial meetings or by contacting the Records Centre team.

How to use

1. First steps

First steps

Before departments use the storage service for the first time they must:

  • Contact the Records Centre to express an interest in using the facility.
  • Undertake the short on-line training tutorial.
  • Read the Terms of Use and the How to Use documents for the Records Centre.
  • Arrange a visit to the Record Store with the Records Centre team. They will provide a brief overview of the process for transferring records. Following this visit, access can be provided to the online database (see download below) and departments will be in a position to undertake transfers of material.
  • Check if any records can be disposed of immediately by referring to the advice and guidance page on how long to keep records, or if you are still uncertain ask for advice.
2. Access to the Online Storage and Retrieval Service

Access to the Online Storage and Retrieval Service

Make sure you can access the database by following the instructions on getting access through MUSE (see download below). The instruction manual will tell you how to get access to the database and the main functionality of it once you have been given access.

Please contact us first if you have not used the Storage and Retrieval Service before.

3. Complete a transfer form online

Complete a transfer form online

Records should be listed on the ‘NEW TRANSFER FORM,’ using one form per box entering the following details:

Details of records transferred: Most file names are self-explanatory, eg 'Evaluation papers'. Some file names may not be recognisable in the future, eg 'Matt’s meetings'. Where file codes are used make sure you or your colleagues will be able to recognise them in years to come.

Covering start and end dates: This is NOT the date that you are archiving the boxes. It is the first and last date of all the records in each box. For example, if they are student files from the year 2012/2013 then the start date will be 2012 and the last date will be 2013.
Dispose/Review date: Specify the retention or review date., e.g. Retain until October 2010, or review December 2012. Records must have a date assigned for them to be transferred.

When your transfer form is complete click the submit button. If your box details are accepted, you will receive an email asking you to print a copy of the transfer form. Place the completed form on top of the records inside each box. Do not fix the form to the box lid or use cellotape on the transfer form (we will advise you if any boxes are rejected after submitting).

The Records Centre will usually accept 20-25 boxes as a maximum delivery at any one time. Recording more than this number on the database will not mean that they will be transferred. This arrangement ensures that staff can manage the delivery appropriately and safely. If you have a larger number of boxes you wish to transfer, then please contact the Records Centre team in advance to discuss your requirements.

  • Please justify your desired disposal date: For example, finance records should be kept for 6 years + current academic year, so the reason for detaining these records would be financial. The disposal date will be applied to the last date of the records in each box.
    4. Order and pack boxes

    Order and pack boxes

    We will accept records in the boxes listed below which can be ordered from Banner:

    • Q-Connect Storage Box W335 x D400 x H250mm Green and White (10 Pack) KF21660  
    • Banner Product Code: 279-2655  Banner Catalogue Code: 9440005 

    Records transferred in any other sized boxes WILL NOT be accepted to the Records Centre. Odd size boxes do not fit on the shelves properly and wastes space and defeats the purpose of providing efficient and economical storage.

    Boxes should not be packed too full or too heavy. Leave a small space between the last records and the box lid for easy retrieval. You should leave enough space to get your fist in either end of the box.

    Box examples:

    USO - Records boxing guid

    Pic 1: box is too heavy and papers are hard to retrieve as they are so tightly packed.
    Pic 2: there are not enough records in this box to justify its retention within the records centre.
    Pic 3: this box has the correct amount of records in it to be able to lift it comfortably and retrieve files.

    Tips for packing boxes;

    • Dispose of any unwanted duplicates, drafts etc., before moving into storage.
    • Remove papers from hanging file folders, lever arch files, box files, plastic folders and plastic wallets. Where papers are removed from files and folders etc. place a sheet of paper on top of the first page and write the file details and dates.
    • Use elastic bands to secure. It is easier to pack boxes whilst listing the files at the same time.
    • Bag files may be packed into boxes. Where possible keep a small range of dates per box. EG 2004 – 2006 rather than 1996 – 2006. We will dispose of the whole box as a unit, meaning some files could be retained well over their retention period.
    • Use one transfer form per box and place it inside the box when complete.
    • There is no need to show details of records on the outside of the box.
    5. Transfer of boxes

    Transfer of boxes

    Once your transfer form and details are accepted we will issue delivery labels for the boxes and organise the transfer of your boxes via the Estates Planon database. The porters will then collect your boxes and deliver them to the Record Store.

    On receipt of your records we will check the contents match the form and allocate a box number. You will be able to see the details of all the boxes we hold for your department on the Paper Records online database.

    6. File retrievals

    File retrievals

    If you require a file or box once they are in storage, please enter the details of the request in the ‘Retrieval’ section on the online database.

    Our aim is to retrieve and deliver the file/box to you within 2 working days. A retrieval sticker will be placed on the file showing the date the file has been removed from storage. Retrieved files should be returned to storage as soon as possible.

    Please phone ext. 23205 or email records@sheffield.ac.uk to return a retrieved item. An automated email from the database will be sent to departments to remind them of any outstanding files that have not been returned to the Record Store.

    7. Disposals

    Disposals

    When boxes are due for disposal, an automated email with a list of box numbers is sent to all staff assigned to the database three weeks prior to the due date.

    To summarise the disposal process:

    • Records that have been assigned retention periods and the retention periods have now expired. This means that the records are no longer required to support current administrative processes.
    • We are informing you that these records have reached the end of their retention periods and will now be disposed of via confidential destruction.
    • Any records which might be worthy of permanent preservation will be identified and transferred to the University Archives.
    8. Departmental Moves

    Departmental moves

    Departments who are undertaking office moves and planning to transfer boxes of records should inform the Records Centre team as soon as possible to ensure adequate preparation and transfer time. The Records Centre will not necessarily be able to accept or accommodate transfers of boxes within your timescales unless adequate communication, planning and preparation of material has taken place.

    As soon as you are notified that you will be moving offices/buildings start to plan ahead and sort your records out. Contact us and arrange a meeting. We can let you know what records you can dispose of, what you can transfer to us and what you will probably need to take with you.

    We can also tell you how you need to prepare your material for transfer to the records centre. Keep in touch and communicate often, rather than leaving it until the final stages.

    9. Leaving the University

    Leaving the University

    Please contact us if colleagues using the service move departments or leave the University so that we can update our contact and access information. If new members of staff take over the archiving, please notify Records Centre staff.

    For more information, please see our terms of use, below.

    Guidance for using the Paper Records online database (pdf, 8.95MB)


    Terms of use

    The following terms of use set out arrangements for departmental use of the University Records Centre. They are to be read and understood in conjunction with the other information on this page.

    The Records Management Service (RMS) operates the service and adheres to good practice processes and procedures to ensure its smooth operation. Any issues with the use of the facility or adherence to the Terms of Use or How to use the service should be discussed with the University records manager in the first instance.

    General introduction

    General introduction

    • By using the service, departments agree to the terms of use set out here.
    • Departments must have at least one member of staff assigned to the on-line database. The member of staff is responsible and accountable for the records that are being deposited in the Records Centre. It is the department’s responsibility to ensure that the their contact for liaising with Records Centre staff is kept up to date.
    • Departments or members of staff who have not used Records Centre services before must undergo an introduction to its operations. This takes the form of a short on-line training module, and a short site visit to the facility. Records Centre staff may also arrange a visit to the transferring department. This ensures that staff understand the specific requirements and processes necessary for the efficient and effective transfer of records to the facility, their management and retrieval if required.
    • Members of staff should have read the Terms of Use and How to Use documents as a condition of using the facility and on-line database.
    • Departments must use the on-line database to transfer data about records being deposited and put in requests for records to be retrieved. The on-line database is also the portal by which departments can view the contents they have deposited within the Records Centre.
    • Departments will only be able to deposit records that the Records Centre team determine are within scope to be retained. Guidance on types of records within scope and out of scope can be discussed during the initial meetings. See below for further guidance on types of records that can be deposited, and types of material that can’t.
    Scope

    Scope

    • The facility will only retain semi-current records, created as a result of statutory, regulatory or administrative University functions and activities.
    • Only semi-current records will be retained within the Records Centre.
    • Records for current academic, financial, calendar years or work cycles cannot generally be transferred to the records centre, unless under exceptional circumstances to be discussed with Records Centre staff prior to transfer.
        Types of records that will be and won’t be accepted

        Types of records that will be and won’t be accepted

        The Records Centre can be used to store paper records such as student files, assessed work (exam scripts), financial records, research data. Any records created as a result of departmental activities may be considered for transfer to the Records Centre.

        Further guidance on what is appropriate to transfer can be discussed during initial meetings or by contacting the Records Centre team.

        The Records Centre will not accept certain material, including:

        • Illegal or prohibited material
        • Records that may contain credit / debit card data, prohibited under the PCI-DSS standard - see https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/it-services/policies/pcidss
        • Books, publications, leaflets, booklets
        • Laboratory samples, such as human tissue slides, liquids, petri dishes, etc.
        Transferring, retention and storage

        Transferring, retention and storage

        • All records will be transferred in a predetermined way, as agreed by the RMS and the transferring department - see guidance on how to use the service.
        • Departments will purchase their own boxes, as guided by the RMS, for the transfer and storage of records to be deposited.
        • The RMS will use the University portering service to transfer boxes from departments.
        Retention and storage

        Retention and storage

        • All records stored will be allocated a retention period. No records are to be retained without a retention period.
        • Retention periods are to be agreed before the records enter the Records Centre.
        • The RMS will retain the records within secure accommodation for the duration of the retention period applied to the records.
        • Details of all boxes transferred in to the RMS will be recorded on a database in order to control their management throughout their retention.
        • Records will be stored within the facility in a secure manner and will not be divulged to other departments unless approved by the transferring department.
        Retrieval and disposal

        Retrieval and disposal

        • Requests for retrievals are undertaken via the on-line database.
        • Departments may request that individual records be returned at any time during their retention period.
        • The RMS will undertake, on behalf of the department, retrieval of records from those deposited.
        • Requests may be for entire boxes, or particular files within boxes.
        • The RMS aims to deliver any records back to departments within two working days of receipt of the request.
        • The RMS will inform departments when records have reached the end of their retention period.
        • Records will be disposed of via confidential waste at the end of their retention period unless identified as worthy of permanent preservation.
        • There will be no direct cost or recharge to the department for use of the above services.

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