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Guidelines for transfer of records to the Regional Service Centres

Personnel Records

The Manitoba Regional Service Centre in Winnipeg manages the records of former federal public servants. Refer to the Manitoba Regional Service Centre Guidelines for Transfer of Civilian Personnel Files for more information.

Essential Records Storage

A Regional Service Centre provides storage for essential records. The Management of Government Information Policy requires government institutions to identify and protect essential information holdings. After essential records have been selected, reproduced as required and described, they must be stored and protected in a secure, properly equipped and environmentally controlled site. Protecting essential records - whether in electronic, paper or other formats - will help ensure that institutions of the Government of Canada continue meeting their operational and legal responsibilities during and after emergency conditions.

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has issued a guide Protecting Essential Records which offers direction, advice and assistance to government institutions on a variety of records and information management topics. See also Treasury Board's Information Management Basics

Electronic Records Libraries Services

Electronic Records Libraries (ERLs) exist in the Regional Service Centre primarily to provide safe, economical storage and management for back up security copies of electronic records on behalf of eligible federal government institutions. Because electronic records containing original data require the same environmental conditions as do back-up copies, both must be physically stored in the ERL. However, electronic records containing original data must be accessioned and NOT registered into the ERL database.

Please follow the guidelines below:

  1. All electronic records must be labelled with the institution's name, client number and address.
  2. All electronic records must be labelled with a unique number. Use a maximum of 11 alpha and/or numeric characters exclusive of any special characters (e.g. spaces, commas, periods, hyphens, @, #, $, etc.).
  3. Records should have a fixed return date. The retention period for back-up security copies should be no longer than 6 years.
  4. All records stored must be recorded on an Electronic Record Service Form. The numbers that appear on the records must be recorded exactly the same on the form.
  5. Records should be shipped in a Regional Service Centre - approved shipping container to avoid damage or loss. For health and safety reasons, containers should not weigh more than 11 kgs (25 lbs). Never ship electronic records in the same container as paper records. This can lead to records being routed to the wrong area.

Note: Before sending any electronic media for storage, please contact your Regional Service Centre for information regarding filling out forms, labelling records, purchasing cases, shipping instructions, and services available. Instructions may vary for each Regional Service Centre.

Archival or Historical Records - Direct Transfers

Direct transfers of records with archival or historical importance occur when records which are still held in government offices and which, although scheduled for archival or historical selective retention, are past their allotted retention period and have not been stored for a dormant period in the Regional Service Centre. When this occurs, it is the responsibility of the client institution to contact the archivist responsible for those records to make arrangements for transferring them into the local Regional Service Centre. In some locations, there is an archivist onsite to assist you with the appraisal and transfer of these records. Please consult the Regional Service Centre in your area for advice and assistance.

Note: In most instances, the records to be transferred will be covered by an approved Records Disposition Authority. In exceptional cases, records at risk that meet the criteria for a direct transfer may be transferred without an approved authority in place. In the latter case, the archivist should be consulted first.

For procedures on how to prepare records for transfer to the custody of the LAC Archival Operations Division, refer to Guidelines for the transfer of textual archival records [PDF 76 KB].

Delivery of Records

LAC does not provide pick-up or delivery services. It is the transferring institution's responsibility to make all the arrangements for the transfer of records into the Regional Service Centre. Please ensure that all shipments are prepaid and consult the Regional Service Centre in your region to schedule your transfer.

Please call your local Regional Service Centres to find out the correct loading sequence of the boxes on the pallets or truck. Each Centre handles shipments differently and will have different loading requirements. In some Regional Service Centres, drivers must be requested to unload the shipment.

  1. Shipments greater than 50 boxes must be shipped on pallets and shrink wrapped to secure the boxes. Generally, there should be no more than 5 rows of boxes on a pallet. There are some exceptions to this requirement (Consult the Regional Service Centre for exceptions). (See Figures 5A and 5B)
  2. When shipping more than two pallets, please number the pallets in order on a 21.6 cm X 27.9 cm (8 ½" X 11") piece of paper and tape it to the front of the pallet where the box numbers are facing. (See Figures 5A and 5B)
  3. Shipments less than 50 boxes must be in sequence to facilitate unpacking and confirmation of amount of delivery.
Image of shipment boxes

Figure 5A

Image of shipment boxes

Figure 5B

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