The State Records Center Ain’t Full


Guest post by Michael Shea, Manager, Records Center Services

Author: Michael Shea

In 2005 (or so) tobacco litigation made an impact on the State Records Center that we are still seeing signs of today.  At some point the Records Center was full and we were banned from destroying any records while the lawyers duked out something related to tobacco.  I hear they deduced it may be…hold on to your hats…bad* for you or children or pets?  Frankly, my hyperactive adopted dog could probably use a cigarette** to wind down after a tough day of being mocked by squirrels.

When we were in the midst of that destruction “freeze”, we had to turn away state agency records.  Unfortunately, I still encounter state agency employees who are surprised they can store their hard copy, microfilm, microfiche and disaster recovery materials here today.  I believe around the time of the tobacco litigation the Records Center had to make some difficult choices and instituted rules to “stem the tide” that we are reversing to make our facility a “silver bullet” for state agency records storage needs.

We began by lifting the ban on permanent paper records in December 2012.  The Records Center now accepts permanent paper records into storage. (We’ve always allowed permanent film and fiche here).  Aside from completing a 106 “approval for storage” form, for your permanent records and following our process as outlined on our website, you can send permanent paper records our way.

We have also decided that it’s in everyone’s best interest (including trees***) to allow different storage boxes than the ones we prefer here.  As long as they are the correct size (standard 1.2 sq ft), are in good shape and follow our other guidelines (Box with lid, free of all printing, markings, paint, and tape on one end and one side. Information written on the other end or side of the box must be relevant to the records stored in the box) we will accept them in the records center.  If you aren’t sure if your boxes are acceptable, snap a few pictures and send them my way.  I’m happy to make a quick ruling for you before you get into un/re boxing!  Why have we demanded our approved boxes in the past?  They are very high quality and durable, and they also are “double walled” cardboard making them even more resistant to humidity, heat, moisture and other fiendish multi-legged records-destroyers.  I believe they are the BEST option for records storage, but budgets don’t always allow for more expensive options, or my drivers would have couture uniforms.

Another change we’ve made is to allow records coded for storage at the agency for a set amount of time to be sent earlier if the agency prefers.  (This would look like AC+20 – five years at agency, 15 years at SRC) We’ll take them at the beginning of the cycle, rather than requiring agencies to wait five years to store their records in the State Records Center.

If you have records that were rejected for storage in the past, I’d like to hear about it to see if we can work out a solution for you.  We are tasked with providing records storage for State Agencies and Local Governments, and we will strive to find an acceptable solution for you here.

The bottom line is we’re here (with space) if you need us.  However, we will not store your dog’s dead squirrels.

* To the chagrin of my parents I am neither a doctor nor a lawyer so don’t take my word for it.

** I’m not a veterinarian, and I am going to venture a guess that a cigarette will not solve my dog’s squirrel problems.

*** Trees do not have opinions on these matters, according to various internet sources.

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