Transferring records to the Archives: Initial assessment questions

Initial assessment information

When conducting our initial assessment, we will ask you for information about the records proposed for transfer, including:

  • whether the records are identified as ‘Retain as national archives’ (RNA) in a current records authority
  • whether the records are still needed for business use
  • content, format, and series details
  • relevant records authority and RNA class used to sentence the records
  • the security classification of the records or other known sensitivities. 

We will also ask you for information about the transfer, including:

  • the current location of the records
  • the quantity of records in the transfer
  • their physical condition
  • your preferred repository.

Initial assessment of digital records

For digital records, we will also need to ask you:

  • the classification of the records. Arrangements for transfer of records with a classification of ‘protected’ or above must be discussed on a case by case basis prior to transfer.
  • how the digital records have been maintained. For example, in an electronic document and records management system (EDRMS), network drive or business system.
  • if the records are part of a business system, is the system still in use or being decommissioned 
  • if there are any unusual or very large file formats
  • what the records' format is, such as PDF or HTML
  • what are the sizes of the digital objects and combined total
  • how many digital objects are in the transfer
  • what metadata has been applied to the records. This will help determine what additional metadata may be needed to support the transfer process.  

We will also need to discuss how the digital records are structured in your system. For example, we may ask you:

  • if the digital records are part of a hybrid series containing both physical and digital components
  • if the digital records are in a folder hierarchy, or a flat structure
  • if all the digital records within a folder hierarchy are sentenced as RNA
  • what level constitutes a record on your item list — for example, does 1 record on your item list equal 1 digital object, or does it comprise multiple digital objects?