Guidelines for transfer of records to the Regional Service Centres

Table of Contents Forms

Introduction to Regional Service Centres

The Regional Service Centres (formerly known as Federal Records Centres) of the Library and Archives Canada are a network of regional centres that manage records in all media on behalf of over 90 federal government departments and agencies. Centres are located in Halifax, Québec City, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver. They take in records of continuing value to government institutions when it is no longer cost effective for them to be maintained in departmental premises. Centres economically store and protect the records, retrieve them when required for reference or research, and destroy other records in a timely and secure manner when they are no longer required. Centres also hold backup copies of electronic records which are deemed essential, in the event of disaster or emergency, to the operations of government and the protection of rights. Finally, the Centre in Ottawa manages the records of former military personnel, and the Centre in Winnipeg manages the records of former federal public servants.

This document offers suggestions and outlines requirements for properly transferring all types of information media to the Regional Service Centre.

For information on the services offered to the public, such as consulting, please refer to Government Records Accessible Outside Ottawa.

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Service Standards

Regional Service Centres are committed to meeting the standards for Accessioning, Reference and Disposition services described below, 95% of the time.

Table 1: List of Service Standards

Services Description Service Standards Fees Activities
Regular Accession An accession is a group of records, which meet LAC entrance criteria, approved for transfer by an eligible government institution to the appropriate Regional Service Centre (RSC) for storage and management. The accessions documentation is to be dispatched to the approved departmental custodian within a maximum of 10 working days from the receipt of the accession. N/A Accession records that meet the entrance criteria:
  • receive and place the containers on shelves
  • enter tombstone and all other related accession information into the appropriate RSC database in a consistent format
  • preparation, verification, approval and distribution of all associated paperwork for LAC and client
Regular Reference A reference is a request, re-file and/or interfile. Normal activity is considered less than 1 reference activity per container in a fiscal year, accessioned in the Regional Service Centre network. A request received before 12:00 noon for the records in any medium will be ready for pick-up by the end of the next business day.
(NOTE: subject to volume limitations, please contact the appropriate RSC) Electronic media, where call-backs have been pre-arranged with the government department, are ready for pick-up by a pre-arranged date and time.
N/A
  • request - record(s) is removed from the container and prepared for shipping/pickup as per clients instructions
  • refile - record(s) returned and re-filed in the original location or as per client instructions
  • interfile - record(s) received that meet our entrance criteria will be interfiled; time permitting and available space in the container. If there is not enough space available in the container, the record will be returned.
Regular Disposition The disposition process authorizes physical destruction, archival preservation or the return of records. Upon receipt of an approved 'Consent for Disposal' (CFD), RSC's will code all containers within 10 business days. N/A
  • identify records eligible for disposition
  • determine whether disposition is authorized
  • mark containers for disposition
  • update appropriate databases
  • appropriate disposition, as indicated by the department: return to the department (transportation at their cost) secure shredding
  • transfer for archival preservation
Cost-Recovery Accession A cost-recovered accession is a group of records, which fails to meet LAC entrance criteria, approved for transfer by a GC department to the identified Regional Service Centre (RSC) for storage and management. The accessions documentation is to be dispatched to the designated departmental custodian as per the terms and conditions of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between LAC and the appropriate GC department. The amount invoiced to a GC department as per a MOU and/or the LAC Cost-Recovery Fee Schedule for the current fiscal year.        Accession records that fail to meet our entrance criteria and covered by an approved MOU:
  • receive and place containers on shelves
  • enter tombstone and all other information related to the records into the appropriate RSC database in a consistent format
  • preparation, verification, approval and distribution of all associated paperwork for LAC and client
Cost-Recovery Reference A cost-recovered reference is a request, re-file and/or interfile on any records that fail to meet LAC entrance criteria. Reference rates are higher than regular reference activity in a Regional Service Centre. A cost-recovered request will be managed as per the RSC Service Standards for Regular Reference or will be processed as per the terms and conditions of the approved MOU. The amount invoiced to a GC department as per a MOU and/or the LAC Cost-Recovery Fee Schedule for the current fiscal year.
  • request - record(s) is removed from the container and prepared for shipping/pickup as per clients instructions
  • refile - record(s) returned and re-filed in the original location or as per client instructions
  • interfile - record(s) received that meet our entrance criteria will be interfiled as per the terms and conditions of the MOU.
Cost-Recovery Disposition ** The disposition process authorizes physical destruction, archival preservation or the return of records that fail to meet LAC entrance criteria. The disposition process will be completed either as prescribed in the RSC Regular Disposition Service Standards (above) or as per the MOU between LAC and the appropriate GC department. The amount invoiced to a GC department as per a MOU and/or the LAC Cost-Recovery Fee Schedule for the current fiscal year.
  • identify records eligible for disposition
  • determine whether disposition is authorized
  • mark containers for disposition
  • verify the boxes are removed from the shelves
  • update appropriate databases
  • appropriate disposition, as indicated by the department:
    • return to the department (transportation at their cost)
    • secure shredding
    • transfer to archival custody
Permanent Withdrawal Withdrawal of records from a Regional Service Centre by a GC department who fails to meet LAC entrance criteria or has decided to remove all their records before the end of the retention period. To be negotiated as part of the terms and conditions of the MOU. The amount invoiced to a GC department as per a MOU and/or the LAC Cost-Recovery Fee Schedule for the current fiscal year.
  • remove containers from the shelf before the end of the retention period
  • prepare containers for transport to a location determined by client and at the client's expense
  • preparation, verification, approval and distribution of all associated paperwork for LAC and client
  • update appropriate RSC database

** Note: Supplementary action and additional resources may be required and will be negotiated via an MOU prior to the cost recovery disposition, which may include but not limited to:

  • re-boxing (CR-03)
  • creation of lists (CR-03)
  • pulling and re-shelving boxes (CR-03)
  • segregation (CR-04)
  • supervision (AS-01)
  • progress reports (AS-01)

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Locations and Service Areas of the Regional Service Centres

For information on the services offered to government by specific centres, first determine which centre serves your location, then use the following contact information.

For information on the services offered to the public, such as consulting please refer to Government Records Accessible Outside Ottawa.

  • Atlantic Region, Halifax
    Serves federal offices in the Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland, including Labrador.
  • Québec Region, Québec City
    Serves federal offices located in the centre and the eastern part of the Province of Quebec.
  • National Capital Region, Ottawa
    Serves federal offices in the National Capital Region, including Gatineau and areas of the Province of Québec within approximately 50 km of Gatineau, and that part of Ontario that lies north of a line running between Belleville and Gravenhurst and east of a line running from Thunder Bay to Fort Severn.
  • Ontario Region, Toronto
    Serves federal offices in the Greater Toronto Area and that part of Ontario that lies to the south and southwest of a line running from Belleville to Gravenhurst, including these cities.
  • Manitoba Region, Winnipeg
    Serves federal offices in Alberta, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Manitoba and the part of Ontario lying to the west of a line running from Thunder Bay to Fort Severn, including these cities.
  • Pacific Region, Vancouver
    Serves federal offices in British Columbia and Yukon.

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Functions of a Regional Service Centre

Each Regional Service Centre performs the following functions:

  1. Accessions all records transferred to it from eligible federal government institutions located within its service area.
  2. Safeguards accessioned containers of records economically and efficiently.
  3. Prepares accurate client accession reports.
  4. Provides limited research on records in its custody. Also provides a reference service for these records. Both these services operate under access restrictions as determined by the client institution.
  5. Disposes of records under approved Records Disposition Authorities after obtaining concurrence from the client institution.
  6. Provides assistance and guidance to government institutions in three ways: offers advice on records description, arrangement, transfer and disposition;encourages and promotes the fullest use of the Regional Service Centre facilities and services; and distributes materials to help clients use the Regional Service Centre services more effectively.
  7. Provides safe, secure, economical storage and management of electronic data media.
    Note: Government security regulations stipulate off-site storage for back-up (security) copies of electronic information.
  8. Safeguards the essential records of eligible federal institutions, and provides advice for preparing these records for shipment to a Regional Service Centre.

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Entrance Specifications for Government of Canada Unpublished Information Resources of Enduring Value - October 2013

Before unpublished Information Resources of Enduring Value (IREV) - also referred to as records of archival value - are transferred from federal institutions to the custody and/or care and control of Library and Archives Canada (LAC), they must meet all of the following requirements. This includes those unpublished IREV placed into dormant storage within the Regional Service Centres (RSCs):

1.  IREV must be under the care and control of any legislative or judiciary branch of the federal government, or of any institution or agency subject to the Access to Information Act and/or the Privacy Act (and thereby subject to the Library and Archives of Canada Act);

2.  IREV must be inactive or dormant1.

-  For direct transfers of unpublished IREV to the care, control and custody of LAC, retention periods must be expired (i.e. the IREV must be inactive) and IREV must not be subject to a litigation hold (also referred to as a 'preservation order' or 'disposition moratorium').

 -  Unpublished IREV entered into a RSC for storage until they are eligible for disposition (i.e. transfer) must be dormant, i.e.:

    1. Have a reasonable* retention period assigned;
    2. Have been closed for 2 years or more; 
    3. Have had the last administrative action performed on them on a date 2 years or more prior to entry;
    4. Not be subject to a litigation hold (also referred to as a 'preservation order' or 'disposition moratorium').
      * Reasonable: Retention periods should be comparable in duration and applied to similar Information Resources (IR's) within and between institutions

3.  Unpublished IREV must be covered by an approved:

    1. Disposition Authorization (DA); or
    2. Records Disposition Authority (RDA), issued either as a Multi-Institutional Disposition Authority (MIDA) or an Institution-Specific Disposition Authority (ISDA); or
    3. A formal agreement for the transfer of IREV, other than (a) or (b), that has been made between the Librarian and Archivist and the institution or person responsible for the IREV.

4.  Only IREV are to be transferred to LAC, and must not be interfiled with information resources without enduring value. Additionally, unpublished IREV must not represent duplicates of information resources previously and/or concurrently transferred to LAC.

5.  IREV must be segregated by medium.

6.  Direct transfers of unpublished IREV must be made accessible upon transfer in accordance with the terms and conditions negotiated for the governing transfer agreement executed between LAC and the transferring institution. All other impediments to access must be removed or minimized for the unpublished IREV wherever and whenever possible2

Unpublished IREV cannot be entered into a RSC for dormant storage if they are Classified or Protected and designated above the Secret or Protected B security classification levels (i.e. Top Secret or Protected C)

7.  Unpublished IREV must not be actively contaminated (i.e. analogue IREV), corrupted (i.e. digital IREV), or similarly compromised when transferred. Likewise, the condition of any IREV transferred must not be in a condition that would pose a physical risk to other material held in LAC's facilities. Any issues, past or present, regarding the physical condition or integrity of the IREV must be made known in advance, in writing, such that LAC can determine if the affected IREV are suitable for entry, if further treatment is required prior to entry, and/or if any treatment previously performed has been done to LAC's satisfaction.

8.  Accessions must be well-organized to facilitate retrieval (e.g. arranged in strict alphabetic or numeric sequence according to disposal date within each individual container); and disposition (e.g. containers organized according to disposal date) for IREV entered into a RSC for interim storage.

Accessions must be accompanied by a detailed electronic item- or file-level listing that conforms to LAC requirements. For digital IREV, this includes structured metadata and an inventory of any physical storage media used to effect transfer. For IREV entered into a RSC for interim storage, the listing must also include the disposition date(s) for the material.  

9.  Only LAC-approved containers, physical storage media and file formats are acceptable for transfer, including any that are not standard but to which LAC agrees prior to transfer.

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Accessioning Records

The words "accessioning" or "accession" are the terms used to describe the transfer of a group of records from the custodian institution, into the controlled guardianship of a Regional Service Centre.

Regional Service Centre will accept various information media if the criteria for storing records are met. If these conditions are not met, Regional Service Centres reserve the right to return some or all of the boxes to the client institution, at the expense of the institution.

It is recommended that you contact the Regional Service Centre in your region for advice and consultation before you begin preparing records for transfer.

Before accessioning, you must apply the existing Records Disposition Authorities (RDA) to the records concerned. This involves checking each individual file for its retention period and where there is an RDA whether it has archival or historical importance. Do not send records which have already met or surpassed their retention period.

Note: Prior to the transfer of records, the Accession Forecast Report [RTF 2,579 KB] and a detailed file-by-file electronic file [PDF 78 KB] list must be sent.

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Packing Records for Shipment to a Regional Service Centre

The Regional Service Centre concerned must approve all containers used for transferring records to its care. Institutions will be expected to use one of the three boxes described below as they have the correct dimensions to fit on our shelving:

 

  • The standard box is a shipping carton that opens from the top, has dimensions of 38.1 cm long by 28.9 cm wide and 25.4 cm high. (15 ¼" long X 11 ½" wide X 10" high) (see Figure 1A)
  • The Front Opening Records Transfer (FORT) box opens at the front and has dimensions of 38.1 cm long by 28.9 cm wide and 24.2 cm high (15 ½" long X 11 ½" wide X 9 ½" high) (see Figure 1B)
  • The tax box is an open style that is specifically designed for Canada Revenue Agency and is not used in every Regional Service Centre (see Figure 1C)
Image of boxes used to pack records

Figure 1A

 

 

 

Image of boxes used to pack records

Figure 1B

 

 

 

Image of boxes used to pack records

Figure 1C

 

 

 

The standard box requires tape to seal the top and bottom of the box. Do not interfold the flaps. Seal the bottom of the boxes by folding the small flaps, followed by the large ones and use 2 inch packing tape. The other two boxes do not require tape to seal.

  • Organize the records by disposition date, or fiscal/calendar year, and therein by the institution's subject classification system. Where there is no subject classification system, files can be arranged alphabetically, numerically, chronologically, etc.

Note: Segregate and box separately all archival or historical records as per the terms and conditions of the Records Disposition Authority.

  • Pack the records/files standing upright with file identifiers facing in one direction (left to right) within the box, so that they are all visible when the box is opened.
  • Do not over pack the boxes because this will hinder file retrieval. Leave approximately 10 cm (4 inches) of space in each box. This will allow for interfiling of files that were not sent with the initial boxes. Box weight must not exceed a limit of 11 kgs (25 lbs).

Note: For other types of media, such as microform or electronic records, institutions should consult their Regional Service Centre.

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Labelling Containers

Retrieving records is quicker and easier if you follow the Regional Service Centre guidelines for labelling containers. The location of the label and information that should be on it is described below.

  1. Use a permanent black chisel type marker for identifying the contents in the boxes. Characters should be neatly printed and approximately 5 cm (2 inches) in size for easy visibility while performing referencing activities. Write all information on the narrow end of the box. (See Figure 2).
  2. Write your institution name, branch, division, etc., in the upper left corner of the first and last box in each records group. This can be done in an abbreviated format. (See Area A in figures 3 and 4).
  3. Write the file type on the first box below the institution identification information. (See Area B in figures 3 and 4).
  4. Write the date range for the file type or the last file heading. (See Area B in figures 3 and 4).

Note: It is not necessary to write the year, and type of records on every box. When the information changes, such as: the years of the records, destruction year, common administrative versus institution specific, or different types of institution specific records within the same shipment, it is necessary to write the new changed information on the first box of the new group.

  1. Write the file name/number of the first and last files on each box. (See Area C in figures 3 and 4).
  2. Write the box number in the top right corner of each box. Numbering should begin at 1 and continue through until the final box in the shipment. Do not repeat any numbers within the shipment (eg. no 1A or 1B, etc.). (See Area D in figures 3 and 4).

Note: Please contact the Regional Service Centre in your region for guidelines on labelling other types of media such as microform records, electronic records, etc. or for clarification if there are any other unusual conditions that need to be considered.

Once all these procedures have been completed, please fax, mail or email the Accession Forecast Report [RTF 2,579 KB] along with your detailed file-by-file listing to your local Regional Service Centre. (Anything more than 15 pages should be mailed in). The information will be verified by the Regional Service Centre staff and then you will be contacted to arrange a convenient shipping date.

Image of labels found on boxes

Figure 2

 

 

Image of labels found on boxes

Figures 3 and 4

 

 

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Personnel Records  

The Manitoba Regional Service Centre in Winnipeg manages the records of former federal public servants. Refer to the Manitoba Regional Service Centre Guidelines for Transfer of Civilian Personnel Files for more information.

Essential Records Storage  

A Regional Service Centre provides storage for essential records. The Management of Government Information Policy requires government institutions to identify and protect essential information holdings. After essential records have been selected, reproduced as required and described, they must be stored and protected in a secure, properly equipped and environmentally controlled site. Protecting essential records - whether in electronic, paper or other formats - will help ensure that institutions of the Government of Canada continue meeting their operational and legal responsibilities during and after emergency conditions.

 

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has issued a guide Protecting Essential Records (Archived) which offers direction, advice and assistance to government institutions on a variety of records and information management topics. See also Treasury Board's Information Management Basics

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Electronic Records Libraries Services

Electronic Records Libraries (ERLs) exist in the Regional Service Centre primarily to provide safe, economical storage and management for back up security copies of electronic records on behalf of eligible federal government institutions. Because electronic records containing original data require the same environmental conditions as do back-up copies, both must be physically stored in the ERL. However, electronic records containing original data must be accessioned and NOT registered into the ERL database.
 

Please follow the guidelines below: 

  1. All electronic records must be labelled with the institution's name, client number and address.
  2. All electronic records must be labelled with a unique number. Use a maximum of 11 alpha and/or numeric characters exclusive of any special characters (e.g. spaces, commas, periods, hyphens, @, #, $, etc.).
  3. Records should have a fixed return date. The retention period for back-up security copies should be no longer than 6 years.
  4. All records stored must be recorded on an Electronic Record Service Form [RTF 417 KB]. The numbers that appear on the records must be recorded exactly the same on the form.
  5. Records should be shipped in a Regional Service Centre - approved shipping container to avoid damage or loss. For health and safety reasons, containers should not weigh more than 11 kgs (25 lbs). Never ship electronic records in the same container as paper records. This can lead to records being routed to the wrong area.

Note: Before sending any electronic media for storage, please contact your Regional Service Centre for information regarding filling out forms, labelling records, purchasing cases, shipping instructions, and services available. Instructions may vary for each Regional Service Centre.

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Archival or Historical Records - Direct Transfers

Direct transfers of records with archival or historical importance occur when records which are still held in government offices and which, although scheduled for archival or historical selective retention, are past their allotted retention period and have not been stored for a dormant period in the Regional Service Centre. When this occurs, it is the responsibility of the client institution to contact the archivist responsible for those records to make arrangements for transferring them into the local Regional Service Centre. In some locations, there is an archivist onsite to assist you with the appraisal and transfer of these records. Please consult the Regional Service Centre in your area for advice and assistance.

Note: In most instances, the records to be transferred will be covered by an approved Records Disposition Authority. In exceptional cases, records at risk that meet the criteria for a direct transfer may be transferred without an approved authority in place. In the latter case, the archivist should be consulted first.

For procedures on how to prepare records for transfer to the custody of the LAC Archival Operations Division, refer to Guidelines for the transfer of textual archival records [PDF 76 KB].

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Delivery of Records

LAC does not provide pick-up or delivery services. It is the transferring institution's responsibility to make all the arrangements for the transfer of records into the Regional Service Centre. Please ensure that all shipments are prepaid and consult the Regional Service Centre in your region to schedule your transfer.

Please call your local Regional Service Centres to find out the correct loading sequence of the boxes on the pallets or truck. Each Centre handles shipments differently and will have different loading requirements. In some Regional Service Centres, drivers must be requested to unload the shipment.

  1. Shipments greater than 50 boxes must be shipped on pallets and shrink wrapped to secure the boxes. Generally, there should be no more than 5 rows of boxes on a pallet. There are some exceptions to this requirement (Consult the Regional Service Centre for exceptions). (See Figures 5A and 5B).
  2. When shipping more than two pallets, please number the pallets in order on a 21.6 cm X 27.9 cm (8 ½" X 11") piece of paper and tape it to the front of the pallet where the box numbers are facing. (See Figures 5A and 5B).
  3. Shipments less than 50 boxes must be in sequence to facilitate unpacking and confirmation of amount of delivery.
Image of shipment boxes
Figure 5A
 
Image of shipment boxes

Figure 5B

 

 

 

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Reference and Consultation

As owner of the records, the client institution chooses who will have access to the records they have stored at the Regional Service Centre, under what conditions reference and research can occur, and how the resulting information is to be used. Access restrictions are strictly adhered to; therefore, records and information are released only to those whose name appears as Records Custodian on the Client Accession Report and those who have authorization and the details of access from the Records Custodian. When records are mailed or delivered to a Client Institution, they are addressed to the Records Custodian of the records unless instructed to do otherwise by the Records Custodian. This helps to ensure better security for your records. For this reason, it is important that your local Regional Service Centre is informed immediately when a change in Records Custodian occurs.

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Procedures for Requesting Records

Clients may request records by telephone, fax, mail, email (where available) or courier. Telephone requests should be restricted to requests that are of an urgent nature.

Records are requested by submitting a Regional Service Centre - Control and Request ​[RTF 295 KB] provided by the Regional Service Centre or any acceptable request form on your letterhead.

The following information must be provided for all record requests:

  1. File number or name;
  2. Volume number, if applicable, or any specific information which is pertinent for retrieval of the file (example BPC number, year, secret or classified, etc.);
  3. Accession number, location number (bay #), and box number. If location number is unknown, provide date of shipment and total boxes shipped;
  4. Name of the contact person requesting the file and the name of the Records Custodian;
  5. Name of the institution and branch and complete delivery or mailing address;
  6. Telephone numbers of both the contact person and the Records Custodian;
  7. Fax number;
  8. Client number provided by the Regional Office (optional - consult local Regional Service Centre);
  9. Date the file is requested; and
  10. Signature of the requestor (when sending request by fax, mail or courier).

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Archival or Historical Records

To view archival or historical records held in the National Capital Region (NCR), departmental researchers should submit their letters of authorization to the Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Division.

Outside the NCR (exception Vancouver and Winnipeg), to view archival or historical records held at the Regional Services Centre, departmental researchers should submit their letters of authorization to the Manager of the Regional Service Centre. For Vancouver and Winnipeg the letters should be sent to the archivist(s) in each centre.

If the User/Researcher is not an employee of the Client Institution, the request to view the record must be made through the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) ATIP Division or Reference Services. If the Archival or Historical accession number is known then please record it as a cross-reference to the original accession number.

Each Regional Service Centre has research facilities available to authorized researchers and clients. Archival and historical groups of records can be viewed and/or copied but are not to be removed from LAC premises, either in the NCR or in the Regional Service Centre.

If the User/Researcher is an employee of the Client Institution, an authorized letter [RTF 292 KB] from the Director level or above from the department involved must be submitted to the Regional Service Centre along with proper ID before access to the record is granted.

Note: A director may only authorize access to records for his/her own department. If there is a need to view files from another department, authorization must be sought from the other department.

To obtain photocopies of archival or historical records held at Regional Service Centre, departmental researchers have the responsibility to arrange and obtain authorization for some with the necessary security clearance to make the copies on LAC premises.

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Electronic Records

Electronic records may be requested by telephone, fax, mail, email or courier. Telephone requests should be restricted to requests that are of an urgent nature. A completed Electronic Record Service Form must be submitted providing the following information:

  • Medium number or name;
  • Client number (if applicable);
  • Name of contact person requesting the tape and name of the records custodian;
  • Name of the Institution and Branch and complete delivery or mailing address; and
  • Telephone numbers of both Contact Person and Records Custodian.

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Interfiles and Refiles

An interfile is a record or group of records, not previously held at the Regional Service Centre that is sent for insertion into an existing accession. It is necessary to write the accession number, location number and box number on the front of the file folder to ensure that the record is placed in its proper accession. If there is no file folder, write the location information directly on the documents.

A refile is a record previously requested, that is being returned to the Regional Service Centre for continued storage. Refiles are always returned to the original accession unless the retention period has changed. If the retention period has changed, the file should be sent in a new accession and the client should also notify the Regional Service Centre of the location of the charge-out card in order to have it removed from the box.

Note: If a file folder needs to be replaced for any reason, the file number, accession number, location and box numbers must be written on the front of the new folder.

For large numbers of refiles and interfiles, clients are instructed to sort the records in order by location and box number. The accession number should be indicated on the first file of each group for cross-reference purposes.

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Disposition of Records 

The word disposition is used to describe any of the following:

  1. The physical destruction of non-archival records;
  2. The transfer of archival and historical records to the Archival Operations Division of LAC;
  3. A transfer of ownership, outside of the Government of Canada, (e.g. to a provincial government); and
  4. The return of records to the originating institution.

Under the Library and Archives of Canada Act (Section 12 (1)), "no government or ministerial record, whether or not it is surplus property of a government institution, shall be disposed of, including by being destroyed, without the written consent of the Librarian and Archivist or of a person to whom the Librarian and Archivist has, in writing, delegated the power to give such consents." This approval is normally granted through the Institution's Records Disposition Authorities (RDA).

All records which are accessioned in a Regional Service Centre are supplied a disposition or bring-forward date (B.F.) by the transferring institution. The Regional Service Centre will initiate a disposal action for records in its care, by faxing, mailing or emailing the Concurrence Letter and Request for Consent to the Disposition of Records to the Records Custodian or individual who is authorized to sign off on the records. This usually occurs approximately 90 days before the official disposal date of the group of records.

It is the responsibility of the client institution to review all records eligible for disposal. This involves verifying the applicable RDA and identifying any files that have been requested through the Access to Information Act or Privacy Act for audit purposes. Under the terms of the Acts, personal information that has been used by a government institution for an administrative purpose shall be retained by that government institution for at least two years following the last use of the information. Please list these, and/or any other records which your institution would like to have transferred back, on the Request for Consent to the Disposition of Records.

Once your records have been verified, we ask that you sign and fax or mail your concurrence with disposition through the Request for Consent to the Disposition of Records to the respective Regional Service Centre, in a timely manner (usually within 30 days of receipt of documentation). The Regional Service Centre will proceed with the disposal action in accordance with established procedures and not before actual disposition date.

Note: If a client fails to respond to the concurrence letter and the retention period has expired, Regional Service Centre will return non-archival records at the expense of the client. Any definite or potential archival and historical records will be transferred to the LAC for preservation.

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Disposal of Classified and Designated Documents (Non-Accessioned Disposal)

Please consult the Regional Service Centre in your region for safe, secure and efficient methods of disposing your classified record(s) and records designated as protected. (Request for Non-Accessioned Disposal [PDF 51 KB])

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Glossary

Access Restrictions
(Restriction de consultation)

A limitation on the use of records. Restrictions may be imposed by the client institution, the Access to Information Act, the Privacy Act, and the Canada Evidence Act.

Accession Forecast Report
(Rapport de prévision d'acquisition)

A report completed by a client at the time the client wishes to transfer records to a Regional Service Centre and before the records are investigated and subsequently accepted for management and storage.

Accession Number
(Numéro d'acquisition)

A number assigned by the Regional Service Centre to identify a group of records.

Access to Information Act
(Loi sur l'accès à l'information)

An Act whose purpose is "to extend the present laws of Canada to provide a right of access to information in records under the control of a government institution in accordance with the principles that government information should be available to the public, that necessary exceptions to the right of access should be limited and specific and that decision on the disclosure of government information should be reviewed independently of government."

Archival record
(document archivistique)

A record designated by the Librarian and Archivist through the Appraisal & RDA process, for permanent preservation in order to:

  • document administrative continuity and legal and proprietary rights of government institutions;
  • protect rights of individuals; and
  • facilitate government and other research.

Back-Up (Security) Copy
(Copie de sécurité)

A duplicate or alternate copy kept as protection against loss.

Bring-Forward Date (B.F.)
(Date de rappel)

A control system used to ensure that files or records not currently required by an office or officer are returned to the Regional Service Centre and then charged back to the same office or officer on the prescribed future date.

Classified Record
(Document ayant une cote de sécurité)

A record requiring protection, in the national interest, against unauthorized access. The level of protections is based on the assigned security classification. There are three classes: confidential, secret and top secret.

Client Accession Report
(Rapport d'acquisition à l'intention du client)

A report produced by the Information Holdings Management System (IHMS) which details all particulars of the accession, including (1) the accession number, (2) volume (in linear feet), (3) box numbers, (4) location numbers, (5) description(s) of records, (6) custodian's name and address, (7) Records Disposition Authority (RDA) number(s), and (8) disposition date(s).

Concurrence Letter
(Lettre de consentement)

A form letter that is sent by the Regional Service Centre to the Archival Operations Division of Library and Archives Canada and/or clients to inform them of certain records ready for disposition, and to obtain their concurrence to such disposition under an approved Records Disposition Authority(ies) and/or under a written, negotiated retention agreement. Attached to this letter is the Request for Consent to the Disposition of Records.

Dormant Record
(Document inactif)

Archival-value records, whether covered by an Institution-Specific Disposition Authority (ISDA) or a Multi-Institution Disposition Authority (MIDA): closed for 2 years or more; and 2 years or more since date of last administrative action; or
Non archival-value records, whether covered by an ISDA or a MIDA: closed for 2 years or more; 2 years or more since date of last administrative action; and 2 years or more remaining in their retention period.

Electronic Record
(Document électronique/informatique)

Record produced with the use of computers. These records are stored Records on magnetic media such as tape, diskettes, etc. Also called "machine-readable records".

Electronic Records Form
(Formulaire de demande de documents électroniques)

A form to be completed and submitted by any client requesting the storage of any electronic media. The form (ARC 510) outlines the particulars of the accession: whether pick-up is required, the custodian/owner, tape number, file name, sequence number, type of container, security level, signature of authorized person.

Eligible Government institutions
(Institution fédérale autorisée)

Institutions subject to the LAC Act which are listed in Schedule 1 of the Access to Information Act or the Schedule of the Privacy Act.

Essential Records
(Documents essentiels)

Records essential to continuing or re-establishing critical institutional functions; examples included records that:

  • Affect the basic, legal, property, and other rights of individuals and corporate bodies;
  • Have the greatest use and demand;
  • Would require an inordinate commitment in terms of time, money, and labour if the records themselves and the systems have to be reconstructed;
  • Are common to those selected by other government institutions as part of their essential records program; and
  • Are required to be maintained by law or regulation.

Federal Records Centre - Control and Request Form
(Formulaire Centre fédéral de documents - Contrôle et demande)

A form to be completed by the client when requesting paper records. This form (ARC 63) outlines all the particulars of a request: the custodian/owner of the records; the custodian/owner's address; the records requested.

File
(Dossier)

  • A collection of records on a specific subject arranged in some logical sequence.
  • The action of arranging documents into predetermined sequences.

File Folder
(Chemise)

A plain or coloured kraft or manila folder usually tabbed to house documents.

File Retrieval
(Recherche de dossier)

The removal of a file from a filing cabinet or storage container.

Historical records
(Documents historiques)

Records that are retained permanently for purposes of enduring value and not necessarily for business purposes.

Information Management
(Gestion de l'information)

From the Management of Government Information Policy, "a discipline that directs and supports effective and efficient management of information in an organization, from planning and systems development to disposal and/or long-term preservation."

Information Media
(Support d'information)

A general term used to describe all types of information storage formats, such as paper, microform, magnetic disks and tapes, and optical disks.

Location Number
(Numéro de localisation)

A number identifying the specific row and shelf on which a file is located during storage.

Non-Accessioned Disposition
(Disposer d'un document non enregistré)

Records that have not been transferred to the Regional Service Centres for storage.

Privacy Act
(Loi sur la protection des renseignements personnels)

The Act who purpose is "to extend the present laws of Canada that protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held by a government institution and that provide individuals with a right of access to that information."

Record
(Document)

Any documentary material other than a publication regardless of medium or form.

Records Custodian
(Responsable des documents)

The client office's representative, responsible for the care and control of its office's records, who has been delegated authority to dispose of its records upon expiry of their retention period.

Records Disposition Authority (RDA)
(Autorisation de disposer des documents (ADD))

A Records Disposition Authority is the instrument that the Librarian and Archivist of Canada issues to enable government institutions to dispose of records which no longer have operational utility, either by permitting their destruction, by requiring their transfer to Library and Archives Canada or by agreeing to their alienation from the control of the Government of Canada

Reference Service
(Service de référence)

A service of the Regional Service Centre that provides information about and appropriate access to records held at the Centre.

Request for Consent to the Disposition of Records
(Demande de consentement pour disposer des documents)

A form to be completed by the Regional Service Centre staff and faxed/mailed to the client attached to the Concurrence Letter. This form lists all the records due for disposal in accordance with the Records Disposition Authority for that accession.

Request
(Demande)

A demand from any source for records or for information from records held by a Regional Service Centre.

Return date
(Date de retour)

Media stored will automatically be deregistered and returned to the institution on the appropriate date without the institution having to request it.

Shipment
(Envoi)

A shipment refers to all the boxes received at one time.

Subject Classification
(Classification selon le sujet (objet)

A classification system that arranges documents by subject.

 

 

 

1.  Dormant Record’ is defined as follows in the LAC Guidelines for transfer of records to the Regional Service Centres:
  • Archival-value records, whether covered by an Institution-Specific Disposition Authority (ISDA) or a Multi-Institution Disposition Authority (MIDA): closed for 2 years or more; and 2 years or more since date of last administrative action; or
  • Non archival-value records, whether covered by an ISDA or a MIDA: closed for 2 years or more; 2 years or more since date of last administrative action; and 2 years or more remaining in their retention period.
2.  This  includes ensuring that digital IREV are readable.