The State Archives of North Carolina microfilms minutes of major decision-making boards of North Carolina’s counties and municipalities as a service for local governments to ensure the permanent preservation of these essential records. Once those records are filmed, we store the silver negative originals in our security vault.
For new county and municipal clerks who are sending minutes for the first time, the following is a reference for you and your staff on how to send minutes:
1. Inform us if you want your original minute books filmed. Your original minutes can only be transported by hand. Do not send originals in the mail, by the state courier, or any commercial service. Please be sure to speak with Kurt Brenneman, records management analyst responsible for minutes, directly at 919-807-7357. (This does not apply if you send us a “duplicate original” that is signed in person, but is still a copy.) We have a basic policy that if you make one trip, we’ll make the other. If you’re in the Western part of the state, please contact Jason Woolf at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-296-7230, ext. 224.
2. You can mail copies of your minutes to the following address:
Government Records Section
4615 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4615
3. You may submit minutes in direct or reverse date order, but please be consistent. (Direct = January at the top of a stack, December at bottom; Reverse = December on top of a stack, January on bottom)
4. Please call 919-807-7357 to see the last date that we have microfilmed.
5. Pack your shipments carefully. Over the years, we have had several shipments where the pages got bent or rumpled because they were too loosely packed.
6. Identify your pages and volumes (if you use them). We occasionally receive cover letters that say “volume 12 and 13,” but cannot tell where it changes from one to the next. We also receive shipments where we can see page numbers, but there is no indication of volume numbers.
7. Please use one copy of the Certification of the Preparation of Records for Microfilming form per record group (one for Board of Adjustment, a different one for Planning Board, etc.). We also need only one per container when there is only one kind of record in the shipment. If you are sending both Commissioner and Planning minutes, send one form per type. Please use the exact first and last dates of the records on the form.
8. If you send index pages (a very helpful thing), please only send one set per shipment. If your index is cumulative, indicate that earlier versions may be discarded, or simply send the final set for a year or volume.
9. Remove all staples and paper clips. It is not necessary to separate meetings with clips or rubber bands, but it is okay to rubber band a volume, year, or other large chunk. For more information on the preparation of minutes for imaging, visit here.
10. You may send double-sided copies.
11. Please do not use scratch or scrap paper. We have to film every page that has text on it, even if it looks like it is unrelated material or it has been marked through.
12. If you have ledger-sized books, send ledger-sized copies.
13. The fee schedule for microfilming services is here. The basic cost is $16.00 per reel of microfilm; each reel holds 2400 letter-size, 1600 legal-size, or 1350 ledger-size pages.
14. Always call or email if you have any questions.
In the end, this is the crucial point: You are doing important work by keeping up with the filming of your minutes. We appreciate your efforts, and will do everything we can to help you in this task.