ILLINOIS STATE ARCHIVES
Guidelines for Use of the State Records Center
The Illinois State Records Center, located at 3765 Winchester Road, Springfield, Illinois, is operated by the Archives and Records Division of the Secretary of State. It provides state agencies free storage and reference service for semi-current records that the State Records Commission has approved for Records Center storage.
The records disposition process begins with the Archives' Records Management staff. Through consultation with your agency, they develop a plan for disposition of each record. A list of these records is then presented to the State Records Commission for approval. This plan takes the documentary form of our Application for Authority to Dispose of State Records or, more familiarly, the records retention schedule.
These approved retention schedules list and describe the records. They also give a "recommendation" which indicates the disposition of a record. The "recommendation" on the retention schedule will list the length of time a record is to be kept in the office, and subsequently in the Records Center until disposal. The approved retention schedule grants continuing authority to dispose of the listed record in accordance with procedures established by the State Records Commission. Remember, only records which are listed on an approved retention schedule will be accepted for storage in the Records Center. If you have not developed retention schedules for records, or need current listings of active retention schedules, please contact the State Records Management Unit at 217-782-2647.
Selecting and Preparing Records for Transfer
Only records which appear on an approved active records retention schedule and call for Records Center retention are eligible for transfer to the Records Center. In selecting records for transfer, you should comply with the recommended time periods for retention in your office, and afterwards in the Records Center. Through periodic review of your agency's files, you should determine which records are eligible for transfer.
In preparing records for transfer, you will need standard records storage boxes, Records Transfer Sheets, and Records Center Box Labels. Obtain the standard records storage boxes from the office supplier used by your agency. The Records Transfer Sheets and Box Labels can be obtained from the State Records Center by calling 217-782-6809.
All records sent to the Records Center are to be packed in standard one cubic foot records storage boxes. Its dimensions of 15" x 12" x 10" require one to file legal-size paper upright alongside the 15" side of the box. Letter-size materials are filed upright along the 12" side of the box. Materials of lesser dimensions such as 5" x 8" or 4" x 6" cards and microfilm reels should also be placed in the standard records storage box being careful not to fill it above the handles. If the material is too large for the standard box such as oversized blueprints, x-rays, and papers which cannot be folded to fit, please contact the supervisor of the Records Center.
You can determine the number of boxes you will need by using this guide:
- For letter-size files, one full drawer will fill 1 1/2 boxes.
- For legal-size files, one full drawer will fill 2 boxes.
- For undersized materials, you must calculate the total number of linear inches of items which fit in a standard box and divide by the total number of linear inches of the materials.
Preparing the Records Center Box Labels
The Records Center Box Label should be prepared by using the Records Transfer Sheet and through examination of the arrangement of the contents of the box. The title of the first and last file in the box should be marked in the "Series This Box" section of the label. The remaining entries on the label should correspond with what is listed on the transfer sheets. Only the entry for "Total Boxes This Transfer" which should list the number of boxes to be transferred as one record series is a new addition. You do not have to fill out the "Disposal Date" and "Records Center Box Number" section. The completed label should be placed under the handle on the front of the box.
Transferring the Boxes
After completing the necessary forms, send two copies of each Records Transfer Sheet by messenger to:
Supervisor of the Illinois State Records Center
3765 Winchester Rd.
Springfield, IL 62707
Retain the third copy of this transfer sheet for immediate reference purposes.
The Records Center supervisor will make arrangements with you to pick up the records. The Records Center can only pick up records within the Springfield area. However, it is usually more expedient if agencies in the Springfield area deliver to the Records Center. If you hold records outside of this area, ship the boxes through the state messenger or a prepaid common carrier. You must wait for authorization from the Records Center before shipping. The Records Center staff will complete the form by filling in the "disposal date," "retention period" and "records center box number" columns. A copy of the completed transfer sheet is then sent to you.
Disposal of Records
Records are destroyed by the Records Center in accordance with approved records retention schedules. At least two weeks before the disposal date listed on your copy of the Records Transfer Sheet, the Records Center will send you a "Disposal Notification." You must then notify the supervisor of the State Records Center of your disposal decision. Extensions occur only when a new records retention schedule is approved which extends the retention period. You may indicate your disposal decision through correspondence to the supervisor of the Records Center. The options are:
- Disposal by the Records Center.
- Transfer Back to the Agency
- Occasionally an agency will still have a need for a record (e.g., audit, pending litigation). The records will then be returned to the agency.