Why the Box List

Records Retrieval

When packing your state agency’s records for transfer to the State Records Center, remember the box list!

Among the services offered by the State Archives of North Carolina is records storage for state agencies. Any state agency, licensing board, and independent commission can transfer a records series to the State Records Center for storage when the disposition instructions in its program records retention and disposition schedule specify that transfer. The State Records Center will not store records on the General Schedule for State Agency Records, or records that are unscheduled or unidentified.

What if an agency needs a record after transfer to the State Records Center? The agency can call the State Records Center at (919) 807-7370 to request a record retrieval. To make the retrieval quick and easy, the agency should have the relevant box list at hand.

In the parlance of archives and records management, a box list is simply “A list of the folder titles housed in one or more containers.” A box list is written after a box of records is prepared properly for transfer to the State Records Center. For example, a general box list of personnel files would read:

  • Box 1: A through D
  • Box 2: E through H
  • etc.

A more detailed box list would read:

  • Box 1: Abernathy, Charles – Donningham, Kevin
  • Box 2: Evers, Wilma – Hook, Paul
  • etc.

At its most detailed, a box list would list each individual file in the box. With that level of detail, an agency requesting the file for “Cynthia Gregson,” for example, knows the exact location of that individual file. A detailed box list makes record retrieval faster and more accurate. The box list can be put in the first box of a multi-box transfer to the State Records Center.

The agency’s records liaison can keep a copy of the box list, too, and consult it when making a record retrieval request. The box list can be attached to the related RC-2 (the form for requesting a transfer of records to the State Records Center). Since Item G37  (Records Management File) on the General Schedule states that state agencies are to keep all RC-2’s permanently, the attached box lists are a permanent tool for accurate records retrieval.

So, remember the box list when preparing your agency’s records for transfer to the State Records Center and, when you need that record again, you will know exactly where it is!


2 thoughts on “Why the Box List

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