State Agency Requests for Archival Review and Archival Transfer
What does the State Archives want?
In general terms, archival records are those created and/or maintained at the highest administrative levels in an agency providing summary and sufficient evidence of how the agency conducted its business or records that contain information of enduring value. For a discussion of evidential and informational values of records, read Archival Values. For a list of records frequently found to be archival, read A List of Archival Series.
When does the State Archives want our records, and what information is required?
State agencies have records retention schedules specifying the length of time that particular records series are required to be kept by each agency. If the records series is coded "A" in the archival column of your schedule and the retention period for the records has passed, the records are ready to be transferred to the State Archives. To request approval to transfer archival records that have met retention, email firstname.lastname@example.org, attaching the two forms below (as required by 13 Tex. Admin. Code §10.5 (2023)) with fields fully completed for the records ready for archival transfer:
If the records series is coded "R" in the archival column of your schedule and the retention period for the records has passed, email email@example.com to submit a review request (which will determine if all or any portion of the records meet the requirements for archival transfer or if they may be authorized for destruction at your agency), attaching the two forms below (as required by 13 Tex. Admin. Code §10.5 (2023)) with fields fully completed for the records ready for archival review:
To prepare for archival transfers of electronic records, also see Texas Digital Archive (TDA) Transfer Procedures.
The State Archives recommends agencies transfer records and submit review requests per series on an annual basis. Agencies may also transfer records and submit review requests per series immediately following the close of the retention period.
If your agency does not have a records schedule, or you cannot determine which series records belong to, or if records are not reflected on your retention schedule, complete the RMD-102 form (PDF). Be prepared to explain the records’ content, date span, creating department or office, and potential long-term value of the records.
Records that have been accepted for archival transfer must be packed into records storage boxes. (These are available from Workquest. The boxes are called "Fiberboard Case Storage Box. Archive Box." You can do a Product Search for SKU 61537130850.)
Keep the records in order and leave them in their folders. If they were stored in hanging file folders, they must be placed in regular, labeled folders. Prepare an inventory using this Archival Transfer Inventory that lists the folders contained in each box (or the folder and file structure of electronic records) and for each folder/file:
- Box number
- Title of the folder/file
- Date(s) of the records
- Details of any non-paper (electronic, audiovisual, photographic) media included
- Whether or not information restricted from public disclosure is included, and if it is, the legal citation that applies
- Agency staff name and title who completed the inventory and reviewed the records for information restricted from public disclosure
- Date the inventory and review was completed.
For some agencies the amount of records to be transferred is small. You need not wait until you have a full box to transfer records to the State Archives.
For records at the State Records Center:
Your agency's Records Management Officer will notify the State Records Center when records have fulfilled their storage retention and are eligible for final disposition. If the records are deemed archival, after approvals are in place they will be transferred to the State Archives.
Once your records are transferred to the legal custody of the Texas State Archives they become the property and the responsibility of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Generally, records transferred to the State Archives are meant to be kept forever, however, it is possible that a reappraisal or reevaluation of the long-term value of the records will lead to their destruction. That decision is the prerogative of the State Archivist. The State Archives receives and fulfills Public Information Act requests on records in its custody. The records cannot be transferred back to the creating agency. The records may be consulted by creating agency staff during regular business hours. Reproduction services are available.
Records held by your agency at the State Records Center remain your property and your responsibility. At the end of their retention period (for those records without permanent retention) the records are destroyed (with your approval) or transferred to the State Archives. Records in storage at the State Records Center that are responsive to Public Information Act requests are the responsibility of the owning agency. Records in storage may be removed or temporarily called back by the owning agency.
Each state agency has a staff member who has been designated the Records Management Officer. Very often, RMOs are trained to answer records questions that arise in agencies. If you do not know who your RMO is, contact your Government Information Analyst from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission's State and Local Records Management Division. Go to Consulting Services for State Agencies to find the name and contact information of your assigned analyst.
Government Information Analysts assist agencies with records management problems. Go to Consulting Services for State Agencies to find the name and contact information of your assigned analyst.
Descriptions of many, but not all, of the holdings of the State Archives can be found on the Texas State Library and Archives Commission web site. For more detailed information email Archives reference staff or call 512-463-5455.
No. Once your records are transferred to the legal custody of the Texas State Archives they become the property and the responsibility of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. The records cannot be transferred back to the creating agency. The records may be consulted by agency staff during regular business hours. Reproduction services are available.
Some agencies are required by statute to send certain documents to the Legislative Reference Library. Some agencies do so out of habit or in error. In any case, documents and records sent to the Legislative Reference Library do not fulfill your responsibilities under Texas Government Code 441.186(d),
"Archival state records shall be transferred to the custody of the commission when they are no longer needed for the administration of the state agency unless state law requires that the records remain in the custody of the agency."
Information that is excepted from public disclosure by mandatory exceptions to the Public Information Act remains confidential. If information is confidential by statute, the Archives needs the statutory citation when the records are transferred. In cases of records that were confidential while in your custody because of permissive exceptions, inform the State Archives when you transfer the records. If records are marked confidential in some way, we will contact your agency's Officer for Public Information before requested records are released. If the records are not marked confidential, but the Archives has reason to suspect that the agency may wish to assert an exception, we will contact you.
Archives reference staff
Records ready to transfer with
"A" archival code:
Records ready for review request with
"R" archival code: