The Bentley Historical Library will be closed on Monday, September 2 in observance of Labor Day. Regular hours will resume on September 3 at 9:00 a.m.

Transfer to the University Archives

Units that have not previously transferred records to the Bentley Historical Library should contact the University Archives and Records Management Program to speak with an archivist or to request a records appraisal.


Transferring unit records to the archives ensure that its contributions to the university are remembered. Transferring records on a regular schedule can minimize inconvenience and improve efficiency. We recommend reviewing unit records annually. Some units incorporate a review annually as part of end-of-year activities, such as an office Green Day and in preparation of the annual report.


Records can be found in either tangible or digital formats. Examples of tangible formats include, but are not limited to, paper-based documents and photographs, and removable media such as thumb drives, floppy disks, and CDs. Digital records most often refer to records that can be viewed on a screen. These exist either because a digital version has been made from paper (“digitized”) or because they were originally created in a digital form (“born-digital”).

Paper-based records and removable media

Paper-based records and removable media should be packed carefully in boxes. Paige boxes measure 10 x 12 x 15 inches and are provided upon request at no cost. In order to keep the weight of the boxes manageable, we recommend that boxes are packed legal-width, rather than letter-width.


It is critical that AV materials are identified with captions or other notes. Persons, places, dates, or circumstances that seem familiar today easily fade into obscurity tomorrow. Providing captions or descriptive metadata does not have to be affixed to the materials themselves but may be maintained in an appendix document. To assist in this process, units are encouraged to use the Bentley’s Audiovisual Metadata Requirements Template.  Units should keep a copy with unit records and send another copy to archivists with the transfer.


Acceptable methods of transferring digital materials to the University Archives include both cloud transfer and storage device delivery. U-M Box is a preferred service when transferring digital files. When the transfer process is complete, a receipt of transfer from an archivist will be sent and the folder closed. For very large digital transfers containing rich media such as images, audio, or video, it may be necessary to use a hard drive in order to preserve the integrity of the files.


The records transfer memo lets archivists know who has prepared the transfer, from which unit the transfer has come, and what materials might be found in the transfer. The description of the records is essential, but it only needs to be a general description of the records being transferred and a general date range. Keep one copy with unit records and another copy with the transfer.


Contact the archives when the transfer has been prepared.