Procedures for the Transfer of Unpublished Information Resources of Enduring Value from Government of Canada Institutions to Library and Archives Canada

  • 1. Effective Date

    These procedures take effect on June 1, 2014. They replace the National Archives of Canada Government Archives and Records Disposition Division Guidelines for the Transfer of Textual Archival Records to the National Archives of Canada (1997).

  • 2. Application

    The procedures outlined in this document apply to the transfer of unpublished information resources of enduring value (IREV), referred to as government records of historical or archival value under section 13(1) of the Library and Archives of Canada Act (LAC Act).

    These procedures apply to all unpublished IREV in all media or formats that have reached the end of their retention periods and are eligible for disposition, and are:

    • created and/or held by government institutions subject to sections 12 and 13 of the LAC Act;
    • created and/or held by government institutions not subject to the LAC Act, but that have reached a bilateral transfer agreement with LAC, as provided for in section 8(1)(f) of the LAC Act;
    • created and/or held by government institutions whose functions have ceased or are about to cease, as per section 13(4) of the LAC Act;
    • deemed to be at risk of serious damage or destruction, as per section 13(3) of the LAC Act.

    These procedures complement the Guidelines for transfer of records to the Regional Service Centres; Managing Photographic Records in the Government of Canada; Managing Documentary Art Records in the Government of Canada; Managing Audio-Visual Records in the Government of Canada; and Managing Cartographic, Architectural and Engineering Records in the Government of Canada.

  • 3. Definitions

    See Appendix A for definitions of terms used in this document.

  • 4. Purpose

    These procedures describe the steps involved in transferring unpublished IREV in all media and formats from Government of Canada (GC) institutions to the care and control of LAC. They offer instructions and recommendations on how to complete the various activities associated with the transfer process so that LAC acquires unpublished IREV in a condition that is conducive to their long-term preservation and ongoing availability.

    These procedures complement and align with the Guidelines for transfer of records to the Regional Service Centres (RSCs), which provide instructions for placing unpublished IREV in pre-transfer dormant storage in an LAC RSC.

  • 5. Context

    The procedures derive from sections 7(d), 12 and 13 of the LAC Act, and allow LAC to acquire unpublished IREV in accordance with its Policy on Acquisition (2012), which applies to all acquisition activities across LAC. The procedures further enable LAC to manage these acquisitions according to its policies on stewardship and access.

    This document also provides practical guidance to enable GC institutions to regularly and adequately perform and document the disposition of unpublished information resources of business value (IRBV) identified as having enduring value, as required by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's Directive on Recordkeeping (2009).

    5.1 Expected Results

    Adherence to these procedures should enable LAC and GC institutions to achieve the following objectives:

    • Employees of LAC and GC institutions understand and are equipped to fulfill their respective roles and responsibilities for the successful transfer of unpublished IREV to the care and control of LAC.
    • Only government unpublished information resources identified as having enduring value and as being sustainable, and for which LAC has been deemed to be the most suitable permanent repository, are transferred to LAC.
    • LAC acquires unpublished IREV that meet applicable requirements and standards, and that arrive in a condition that is conducive to sustaining them over time and making them available as soon as possible after acquisition.
    • The process of transferring government unpublished IREV to LAC is efficient, and initiated only once appropriate.
    • Unpublished IREV are transferred to LAC in a manner that is consistent, transparent and sufficiently documented, providing for overall accountability and reliability for all stakeholders.
    • The process of transferring unpublished IREV to LAC demonstrates adherence to applicable laws, policies, standards, directives and other requirements.
  • 6. Requirements

    This section outlines the LAC entrance specifications for government unpublished IREV, which are pre-requisites for transfer (section 6.1), and procedural requirements associated with each of the following key stages of the transfer process: Preparation for Transfer (section 6.2); Effecting Transfer (section 6.3); and Post-Transfer Activities (section 6.4).

    6.1 Entrance Specifications for Transfers

    Regardless of the proposed mode, context, nature and/or singular elements of a pending transfer of government unpublished IREV, there are common requirements for entry into LAC. These requirements are outlined in LAC's Entrance Specifications for Government of Canada Unpublished Information Resources of Enduring Value - October 2013 and must be met in order for LAC to acquire a transfer of unpublished IREV from a GC institution.

    All proposals to transfer unpublished IREV to LAC must be reviewed by LAC staff to ensure that the material meets the entrance requirements. Where the entrance specifications cannot be satisfied, the institution must receive LAC's approval to proceed with any exceptional cases. In these circumstances, LAC will determine the next steps in consultation with the appropriate information management contacts within the institution.

    6.2 Preparation for Transfer

    Preparing eligible unpublished IREV for transfer to the care and control of LAC is the responsibility of the transferring institution. This includes ensuring that the institution is equipped with appropriate recordkeeping tools, mechanisms, systems and practices to easily identify, and adequately manage and protect these IREV—including when they are on loan to another entity—until they become eligible for disposition by means of transfer to LAC. The institution must also be able to commit the time and resources necessary to satisfy the requirements and complete the activities described in this section.

    Best practices for IREV preservation: To support IREV preservation long before transfer occurs, GC institutions should incorporate measures into their routine recordkeeping activities to physically protect their IREV. To assist all GC institutions—particularly those subject to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's Directive on Recordkeeping—in their local efforts to preserve unpublished IREV, a set of preservation guidelines for all types of media is provided in Appendix C.

    Lastly, the transferring institution must be able to identify the most suitable mode of transfer for its unpublished IREV (e.g., physical versus electronic transfer for digital IREV) and provide sufficient details about the proposed transfer contents.

    6.2.1 Identification of Transfer Contents

    An institution must ensure, to the best of its employees' knowledge, that all unpublished information resources proposed for transfer to LAC have enduring value. Unpublished IREV are identified by applying the disposition authorization instruments or transfer agreements approved and issued to the institution by the Librarian and Archivist of Canada or by his or her official delegate(s).

    Disposition authorization instruments may include the following:

    • Records Disposition Authorities (RDAs), which are issued as either Multi-Institutional Disposition Authorities or Institution-Specific Disposition Authorities;
    • a Disposition Authorization issued under LAC's Disposition and Recordkeeping Program;
    • a formal recommendation made for the disposal of government unpublished IREV held in the legal custody of LAC that receives the direct approval of the Librarian and Archivist or his or her official delegate(s), such as a disposal or removal memorandum created in accordance with approved LAC procedures.

    Institutions are expected to cite the specific sections in the terms and conditions of the governing disposition authorization instrument or agreement that identify the information resources proposed for transfer as having enduring value.

    Best practice: When a complementary but non-legally binding tool (e.g., an Application Guide) has been created by or with LAC to help identify unpublished IREV, it should be consulted. Official interpretations of the transfer terms and conditions of a disposition authorization instrument are to be either held on LAC's corporate files or included in the Records Disposition Authority Control System (RDACS) under the appropriate RDA number.

    Institutions are also encouraged to submit to LAC (electronically, if possible) any copies of card indices, file classification manuals or other such resources if the material promotes a greater understanding of the information resources proposed for transfer and/or can assist LAC in cross-referencing between specific clauses of the applicable disposition authorization instrument or transfer agreement and the material proposed for transfer.

    Where information resources identified as having enduring value are in a digital format, it is important to remember that they consist of both digital objects and their related metadata. Both component parts will have to be prepared for transfer. Digital objects and metadata to be included in a transfer of digital IREV must be clearly identified in the system of origin (e.g., an Electronic Document and Records Management System, or EDRMS) so that information resources which are eligible for disposition and/or for transfer to LAC can be readily distinguished from those which are not.

    Lastly, institutions must review their analogue transfers to ensure they do not duplicate what exists in digital format. Where there is duplication between the analogue and digital unpublished information resources maintained by an institution, the applicable disposition authorization instrument should be the first point of reference in determining which version should be transferred to LAC. However, if neither the disposition authority nor an interpretation of it specifies a particular transfer format, the digital version is preferable if LAC confirms that it satisfies certain requirements.

    6.2.2 Creating an Inventory of Unpublished IREV Proposed for Transfer

    A comprehensive file- or item-level inventory (i.e., a list that represents a basic finding aid) of the information resources proposed for transfer must be produced electronically; handwritten or typewritten lists are not acceptable for submission. LAC requires electronic finding aids to be prepared so that they can be uploaded to its information systems. The inventory must consequently conform to certain content and format standards so that LAC can prepare the final finding aid for the unpublished IREV to be transferred. Appendix D provides a set of instructions to facilitate and guide this activity.

    Where unpublished IREV are to be physically transferred (as opposed to electronically transferred), the inventory must accurately reflect the physical contents of the containers at the time of transfer. This applies equally to transfers consisting of multiple containers as to those that may involve only one item, or a single textual file (sometimes referred to as a single-file transfer).

    For all pending transfers, the corresponding inventories must conform to GC and LAC policies pertaining to access to information, security of information (including downgrading or declassifying information as necessary), and the protection of personal information. Transferring institutions should otherwise consult with LAC where an inability to comply is anticipated.

    Digital: Transfers consisting of digital unpublished IREV must be accompanied by metadata in compliance with the Archival Metadata Guidelines for Digital Information Resources of Enduring Value (IREV) Transferred from Government of Canada Institutions to Library and Archives Canada (forthcoming); see section 6.2.2.1 for further instructions). If they will be transferred on portable storage devices, an inventory of the devices must be prepared for submission as outlined in Appendix E. Please consult section 6.2.6.2 for further information on the use of physical media to transfer digital unpublished IREV.

    6.2.2.1 Extracting and Organizing Metadata for Digital Unpublished IREV

    The Archival Metadata Guidelines for Digital Information Resources of Enduring Value (IREV) Transferred from Government of Canada Institutions to Library and Archives Canada (forthcoming) are informed by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's Standard on Metadata and define the minimum set of metadata that must accompany all transfers to LAC of typical, office-based digital unpublished IREV (i.e., those that are created and managed in EDRMS repositories or in document-sharing environments such as shared drives). Although variations in the quality and quantity of available metadata are expected (e.g., for digital unpublished IREV dating back many years), institutions must make every effort to satisfy LAC's metadata requirements for transfer. Institutions must otherwise obtain LAC approval for any exceptions they request. Metadata related to other types of digital content (e.g., databases, datasets, social media resources) will be addressed in future versions of this guidance.

    Metadata may exist at various levels of aggregation (e.g., at the file-, folder- or document-level), depending on the type(s) of classification systems used within the transferring organization. Regardless of the level, it is critical that the manner in which pertinent metadata are captured clearly demonstrates the existing relationships and hierarchies between digital objects, and that the metadata remain linked to the digital objects or level(s) they describe.

    Depending on the system of origin and the transfer mechanism to be used, different methods may be required to extract, group and package digital objects with their associated metadata in preparation for transfer. Metadata that is fully compliant with the GC Recordkeeping Metadata Element Set (RKMES) / GC Recordkeeping Metadata Application Profile (RKMAP), including archival elements, will be substantial in quantity and complexity, and will therefore require a sophisticated structure like XML. Minimal metadata, on the other hand, may be structured in a simple spreadsheet or a comma-delimited text file. Institutions must simply ensure that whichever format is selected for submission of the required metadata complies with the LAC Guidelines on File Formats for Transferring Information Resources of Enduring Value (forthcoming) and includes metadata appropriately identifying the digital unpublished IREV being described.

    6.2.3 Notification of a Pending Transfer

    Where unpublished IREV are eligible for direct transfer from the institution to LAC's permanent care and control, institutions must obtain appropriate approval within their organizations to initiate the transfer and then notify LAC that they intend to do so.

    Direct transfer notification will be given by completing and submitting to LAC the Advance Notification of Direct Transfer of Government Unpublished Information Resources of Enduring Value (IREV) to Library and Archives Canada form, which must be accompanied by a completed Digital Transfer Assessment Form for transfers involving digital material. The instructions for obtaining both forms are provided in Appendix F. The inventory of the transfer's contents, prepared as per section 6.2.2, should also be submitted at this time.

    All notifications about pending direct transfers must be sent electronically to the Contact Centre. The only exception to this rule applies when the inventory or reference material contains information that is classified or Protected C, as LAC cannot ensure security requirements for electronic transmission of material classified above these levels (see Appendix G for further instructions).

    The Contact Centre will acknowledge receipt of all direct transfer notifications and provide institutions with a unique reference number for each one. This number identifies each logged transfer and enables it to be tracked and distinguished from other transfers until the process is fully completed.

    Where unpublished IREV have been placed in dormant storage within an LAC RSC pending eligibility for disposition, LAC will initiate the transfer when the IREV reach the end of their retention schedules by either faxing, mailing or emailing the Request for Consent to the Disposition of Records form to the custodian who secures the appropriate signature for this disposition activity. This usually occurs approximately 90 days before the official disposal date of the material. The RSC will then screen and transfer the IREV to LAC custody.

    6.2.3.1 Informing of Specialized Transfers

    Institutions must inform LAC when some or all of the contents of a transfer do not conform to standard dimensions and features so that LAC can assist in making special arrangements to package and transport the material. LAC specialists may require a site visit to examine the material in order to decide how best to facilitate the transfer, so institutions should be prepared to accommodate this.

    The following exceptional circumstances require special attention and instructions from LAC:

    1. Transfers of unpublished IREV that are classified or protected (see Appendix G for further instructions).
    2. Transfers of analogue unpublished IREV that have non-standard dimensions (e.g., odd-sized textual documents).
    3. Transfers involving digital unpublished IREV. These will be treated as specialized transfers in the short term and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis to ensure the most practical mode of transfer is selected. Transfers of digital unpublished IREV already stored on physical storage devices other than what is recommended for transfer in the LAC Guidelines for Physical Digital Storage Media (i.e., transfers on portable storage devices considered obsolete) will require particular attention.
    4. Transfers consisting of multiple media.
    5. Transfers which include unpublished IREV that are made of materials that LAC does not typically acquire (e.g., textiles), or which may pose safety concerns (e.g., nitrate film).
    6. Transfers on which conservation treatment has been performed. A clear description must be provided, preferably in the form of a report, of the type of treatment that was performed, and when and by whom the work was undertaken. The report must include sign-off by authorized personnel to demonstrate official acknowledgement that the material was treated as indicated.

    6.2.4 Verification of Proposed Transfer Contents

    Verification involves reviewing the nature and contents of the information resources proposed for transfer to ensure that they constitute unpublished material suitable for acquisition by LAC. During verification, the proposed transfer contents are compared with the archival selection specified within the applicable disposition authorization instrument (or corresponding interpretations of that instrument) to confirm the enduring value of the material. The quality of the inventory of the unpublished information resources proposed for transfer is also checked at this time to ensure it conforms to LAC's data entry standards.

    Verification further represents an opportunity to confirm prior to transfer that the unpublished information resources are of a medium and format and/or are in a condition conducive to long-term preservation and access, should the material be added to LAC's permanent holdings. When the verification reveals that unpublished IREV have suffered contamination or physical damage prior to transfer, LAC will assess the condition of the information resources while they are still under the care and control of the transferring institution to determine if conservation treatment is required, or if any previously performed treatment has been done satisfactorily (see section 6.2.3.1 vi for further details).

    LAC leads the verification of proposed direct transfers. However, for unpublished IREV already stored in an RSC, the transferring institution is responsible for reviewing all unpublished information resources eligible for disposal as outlined in the Request for Consent to the Disposition of Records form to ensure that the RSC can proceed with legal transfer of care and control to LAC.

    Where it is determined that some unpublished information resources proposed for transfer do not have enduring value or are not sustainable in the long term, they will have to be removed from the larger transfer of unpublished IREV to LAC. The physical contents of the containers to be transferred to LAC must be adjusted accordingly to maximize space and maintain adequate support for the remaining contents. In addition, the inventory originally submitted to LAC must be updated to ensure it reflects the final approved composition of the transfer.

    6.2.5 Receipt of Approval to Proceed with Transfer

    Once the contents of a pending direct transfer have been verified, LAC will notify the GC institution in writing of the results of that process and confirm whether the institution can proceed with the transfer as proposed. If not, LAC will bring to the institution's attention the changes it must make to the transfer's contents or the additional preparatory work it must complete for the transfer to be permitted.

    For unpublished IREV that are being transferred to LAC's care and control from within an RSC following dormant storage, disposition is permitted as soon as the RSC receives the signed Request for Consent to the Disposition of Records form back from the GC institution (see section 6.2.3). It is expected that unpublished IREV stored within an RSC will already have been packaged to LAC's satisfaction upon entry into the facility.

    6.2.6 Packaging Approved Direct Transfers

    6.2.6.1 Analogue Unpublished IREV

    Unless otherwise instructed by LAC, institutions must physically segregate information resources according to their media if a direct transfer consists of multiple media. This typically includes physically segregating analogue from digital unpublished IREV. Note that in all cases of segregation by media, pertinent intellectual links between the records must nonetheless be maintained (e.g., using common file classification information).

    Approved direct transfers must be packaged, numbered and labelled as described in Appendix H wherever they conform to standard dimensions and features. Any unpublished IREV otherwise identified as requiring specialized attention (see section 6.2.3.1) are to be packaged and prepared for transfer according to LAC's instructions. Note that in all cases, no empty file folders or pockets are to be included in the transfer contents.

    The corresponding inventory must reflect the box numbering and contents at the time of transfer. Therefore, any changes to the composition of the transfer that have resulted from the verification or packaging processes must be taken into account.

    6.2.6.2 Digital Unpublished IREV
    1. Format: It is expected that digital unpublished IREV will be provided to LAC in one of the formats recommended in the LAC Guidelines on File Formats for Transferring Information Resources of Enduring Value (forthcoming).

      Conversion may be required prior to the transfer, particularly in cases where formats that have been used are outdated or uncommon, or require software that is obscure, proprietary or difficult to obtain. Where conversion is planned, institutions must consult with LAC to ensure that the integrity of the unpublished IREV will be preserved and that the process is appropriately documented.

    2. Portable Storage Devices: Where transfer by way of a portable storage device has been approved in advance by LAC, the following media can—wherever institutional policies permit—be used as indicated in the LAC Guidelines for Physical Digital Storage Media:
      • DVD
      • LTO-4 or LTO-5 tape recorded in uncompressed format
      • External hard disk drives
      • USB flash drives
      • A terabyte disk drive, which LAC can provide for use in transfer if required.

      Where an institution has stored and managed its unpublished IREV on portable storage devices such as tapes, CD-ROM and diskettes of various sizes and types (e.g., 3 ½", 5 ¼", 8"), the IREV should be consolidated onto acceptable storage devices wherever feasible, and evaluated to determine the applicable transfer mechanism. When doing so, utmost care must be taken to ensure that the contents remain intact. In other words, aspects such as file (byte) size and any embedded metadata (e.g., date and time stamps) should not be altered.

      LAC must be provided with the means to decrypt portable storage devices that have been encrypted, and with passwords for devices that are password-controlled.

      All portable storage devices used to transfer digital unpublished IREV to LAC must be listed in an inventory as outlined in section 6.2.2.

    3. Databases: In all cases involving a relational database, the extraction process must reconstitute the intellectual entity that represents the unpublished IREV. It should not simply be an extraction of various tables used by the system to create and manage the component parts of the IREV. In other words, a single unpublished IREV may be comprised of data elements held in different database tables that are assembled to form the IREV upon querying or reporting.
    4. After portable storage devices used for transfer have been decrypted, the files stored on them must themselves arrive unencrypted, and free of self-updating macros and fields such as dates.
    5. No compression: Digital unpublished IREV must be transferred without further data compression. If the IREV needs to be compressed, the compression format must be discussed with LAC in advance of the transfer.
    6. Checksum value: For digital unpublished IREV to be transferred electronically or on portable storage devices, a checksum must be generated and recorded for both the digital objects and accompanying metadata. LAC recommends using a 128-bit algorithm (MD5) to generate the checksum, which must be included with the transfer as follows:
      • For electronic transfers, generate a single (i.e., batch) checksum for the entire transfer. LAC will use this to validate the integrity of the transfer.
      • Where portable storage devices are used for transfer, generate a checksum for each device and include it on the carrier so that LAC can validate the integrity of each device.

      A comparison of the checksum values generated before and after the transfer enables LAC to validate, to a high degree of certainty, the integrity of a transfer.

    7. Virus scan: Although LAC will perform its own virus scans on all transfers of digital unpublished IREV, regardless of whether they were received via electronic transfer or on portable storage devices, transferring institutions are advised to ensure that they perform a virus scan on the material when preparing them for transfer. If a virus is discovered by LAC following transfer of the IREV, institutions will be asked to send a second set of virus-free copies of the IREV.

    6.3 Effecting Transfer

    Once the final contents of a transfer have been approved and the preparatory work completed, LAC will continue to work with the institution to successfully coordinate and execute the transfer of its unpublished IREV to LAC's care and control.

    Direct transfers will typically involve pickup of the IREV by LAC for physical transfers (which includes digital unpublished IREV transferred on portable storage devices), but could also require shipment of the material if transferred from a location outside of the National Capital Region to a designated RSC. Direct transfer could also involve the electronic transfer of digital unpublished IREV.

    All approved direct transfers must be arranged and scheduled in consultation with LAC.

    Important: Digital unpublished IREV to be transferred to LAC must be preserved by the transferring institution until LAC formally confirms that the transfer is complete, and that a quality check has been successfully performed. See section 6.4 for further information.

    6.3.1 Coordinating and Scheduling Transfers

    6.3.1.1 Physical Transfers

    Where LAC has agreed to pick up unpublished IREV directly from the transferring institution, the institution must provide LAC with contact information for the individual who is responsible for overseeing the disposition of the material in order to coordinate a pickup date, time and location. Other logistical information pertaining to loading docks, available parking (for LAC's vehicles), and so on, must be provided by the institution. At the time of scheduling, LAC must also be informed if it is to transport contents from multiple locations. Although conditions and time frames can be negotiated, the institution must provide the necessary resources to accommodate and remove impediments to the pickup process once arrangements have been made with designated LAC staff.

    Where LAC and the institution have agreed that the unpublished IREV are to be shipped, the transferring institution is responsible for covering the costs associated with the shipment and for arranging the shipment in the manner specified by LAC on the agreed-upon date.

    The transfer process is expedited for unpublished IREV already stored in RSCs, as they are already physically located on LAC premises. Once consent is obtained from the GC institution to proceed with disposition, the RSC will complete the legal transfer of the material to LAC according to established procedures.

    6.3.1.2 Electronic Transfers

    Electronic transfer takes place when an electronic network is used to transfer digital unpublished IREV between an institution and LAC. Examples would include email or Secure File Transfer Protocol (sFTP), with sFTP being the preferred method. Electronic transfer through sFTP provides a secure transfer channel by encrypting both commands and data during the transfer session and preventing sensitive information from being transmitted in the clear over the network. It also offers immediate storage in an electronic holding area subject to backup services, eliminating the need to store and handle portable storage devices.

    Institutions wishing to electronically transfer digital unpublished IREV to LAC must discuss this option with LAC on a case-by-case basis. Some restrictions will apply.

    6.4 Post-Transfer Requirements and Best Practices

    This section describes the remaining activities under the institution's responsibility following transfer. It also outlines when and how LAC assumes legal and physical care, control and custody of the unpublished IREV transferred by GC institutions, and what LAC is to provide as confirmation that the transfer has been completed.

    6.4.1 Registration of Transfer upon Receipt by LAC

    Once a transfer of unpublished IREV has been received by LAC, it is registered, i.e., physically accounted for, but not yet fully processed. For a direct transfer, LAC includes in the record of registration the unique reference number assigned by the Contact Centre to the initial transfer notification (see section 6.2.3). Institutions should refer to this number when they have any post-transfer inquiries about the content or status of the material.

    Transfers that occur within RSCs will be registered by LAC once disposition is permitted. Until these unpublished IREV are processed, institutions should use the accession number assigned to the material by the RSC when placing inquiries.

    As initial processing is carried out, institutions are to address issues if the material is found to be inconsistent with what was originally approved for transfer or if technical difficulties are encountered with digital material (e.g., the checksums do not match; a virus is detected; data is found to have been corrupted during transfer).

    Reminder: The original digital objects and associated metadata (see sections 6.4.3 and 6.4.4) making up transferred digital unpublished IREV can be deleted only once the transferring institution receives notification from LAC that it is acceptable to do so.

    6.4.2 Acknowledgement of Acquisition by LAC

    Regardless of the transfer mechanism used, LAC will provide institutions with official written acknowledgement that the transfer of their unpublished IREV has been added to its collection once the material has been fully accessioned.

    The accessioning process includes the creation of the LAC finding aid for the material. This involves converting to LAC's standards the IREV inventory (including any associated metadata) submitted by the transferring institution, and reviewing it for any personal or classified information that would restrict public access to the finding aid. Once LAC deems the finding aid partially or fully "open" or "closed" to public access, it performs a final check for content accuracy before assigning an official number to the finding aid.

    Every new accession of government unpublished IREV is assigned a unique system-generated reference number referred to as a Branch Accession Number (BAN), which is linked to the corresponding finding aid. Once LAC provides this number, the institution should update its internal systems to reference the BAN in order to facilitate future access to the transferred material.

    Note : Institutions will be notified at the Registration or the Accessioning stage if LAC has not accepted some or all of the information resources transferred to its collection. In such cases, institutions will be invited to reclaim the material through a formal removal process.

    6.4.3 Documentation of Transfers

    If an institution is subject to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's Directive on Recordkeeping, it must maintain documentation of all transfers to LAC as part of its documented disposition process. Accounting for disposition activities is nonetheless a highly recommended practice even for institutions not subject to this directive. Institutions can consult the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's Guideline on Information Management: Developing and Implementing a Documented Disposition Process for Information Resources (most recent draft dated October 2011) for more guidance.

    Note: Institutions may wish to include the LAC registration and accession numbers in the documentation of their disposition actions to demonstrate that disposal was appropriately and successfully performed and that it involved the transfer of unpublished IREV to LAC's care and control.

    6.4.4 Destruction of Copies of Accepted Digital Unpublished IREV

    After receiving notification from LAC that a transfer of digital unpublished IREV has been verified, approved and successfully completed, institutions must delete the digital objects and some of the associated metadata from their systems. However, some of the remaining associated metadata may need to be maintained in order to document this disposition activity; consult the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's Guideline on Information Management: Developing and Implementing a Documented Disposition Process for Information Resources.

  • 7. Roles and Responsibilities

    7.1 LAC:

    • Provides advice on the application of these procedures;
    • Develops guidelines, tools, best practices and services as required to achieve the goals and expected results of these procedures.

    7.2 Institutions:

    • Ensure that their recordkeeping and disposition programs provide for the regular and ongoing coordination and management of transfers of unpublished IREV to LAC;
    • Identify and designate appropriate staff to implement these procedures;
    • Adhere to these procedures;
    • Notify and/or consult with LAC on any matters that may impede their ability to adhere to these procedures.
  • 8. Monitoring and Evaluation

    8.1 By LAC:

    The LAC business area responsible for acquisitions of unpublished IREV will monitor and evaluate these procedures every three years or as required, beginning on the effective date. LAC will analyze progress, effectiveness, and attainment of objectives, and will identify potential improvements to activities associated with the acquisition of unpublished IREV originating in government institutions.

    8.2 Within Institutions:

    Institutions are expected to monitor and evaluate adherence to these procedures, and report on any issues that may or will impede their ability to do so.

  • 9. Consequences

    Non-compliance with these procedures may delay transfers or may result in the imposition of corrective measures by LAC.

  • 10. Information

    For any questions about these procedures, please contact us at:

    Contact Centre
    Library and Archives Canada
    550 de la Cité Boulevard
    Gatineau, Québec
    K1A 0N4
    819-934-7519 or 1-866-498-1148 (toll-free)
    Contact centre

  • Appendix A: Definitions

    Accession
    A group of records or archives from the same entity (source), with the same place of origin or history (provenance), accepted all at once as holdings in an archival repository.
    Accessioning
    The process of formally accepting material into archival custody. This is the point at which records become accessible to the public. The primary purpose of accessioning is to establish initial administrative control over government records received by LAC, regardless of their medium.
    Accession number
    (1) Holdings context: The Branch Accession Number (BAN) is a unique number assigned to archival material once it has been formally accepted into archival custody to signify the establishment of intellectual control, e.g., BAN # 2004-00237-9. A BAN supersedes all other control numbers (i.e., a Regional Service Centre (RSC) accession number; a Contact Centre request number; a Registration Control Number). (2) RSC context: A unique number assigned by the RSC to identify a group of records accepted for storage, e.g., 96-0715 OFRC.
    Acquisition
    The process of acquiring information resources of enduring value. Acquisition takes place when a decision is made to preserve information resources for future generations and subsequently to buy, assume ownership, take possession and/or assume responsibility for stewardship of information resources for the purpose of preserving them.
    Analogue materials
    A broad term encompassing documentary heritage in tangible form and where the information is recorded by continuously variable physical means (in contrast to digital means). This term includes, for example, audio and video recordings, books, manuscripts and photographs.
    Care
    Legislated or contractual obligation to protect documentary heritage.

    LAC may apply its care function to:

    • Government information resources of enduring value not yet transferred and/or potentially at risk under section 13 of the LAC Act
    • Information resources/documentary heritage in LAC custody or control
    • Government information resources of enduring value not under LAC custody subject to monitoring under LAC's Disposition and Recordkeeping Program, and/or transferred elsewhere in the Pan-Canadian Documentary Heritage Network.
    Classified record
    A record requiring protection, in the national interest, against unauthorized access. The level of protection is based on the assigned security classification. There are three classes: confidential, secret and top secret.
    Control
    The right to manage, preserve, and facilitate access to holdings.

    LAC may apply its control function to:

    • Everything transferred to LAC under sections 12 and 13 of the LAC Act; everything acquired on behalf of the Crown
    • Upon value authentication: Government and private fonds and accessions; digital documentary heritage
    • Long-term loans.
    Custody
    The physical possession of material. It does not require control or ownership.

    LAC may apply its custody function to:

    • Information resources in LAC spaces, or in Crown spaces shared with LAC
    • Deposit program
    • Information resources managed in a digital portal (before value authentication)
    • RSCs.
    Digital object
    A discrete unit of information in digital (i.e., binary) form that constitutes either a representation, a file (e.g., .doc, .pdf, .jpg, which may itself contain sub-components or embedded objects but is identified and managed as a single information resource), a bitstream or a filestream.
    Direct transfer
    A mode of transfer initiated by a government institution when unpublished information resources of enduring value (IREV) that have been held in one of its offices (i.e., not in dormant storage first within an LAC RSC) are transferred directly from the institution to the care and control of LAC. Such transfers occur when unpublished IREV have surpassed their assigned retention periods and fulfill no further operational obligations for the institution. For digital unpublished IREV, direct transfer can be executed either electronically or by means of a portable storage device.
    Disposition
    The process that enables government institutions to dispose of records which no longer have operational value, either by permitting their destruction (at the discretion of institutions), by requiring their transfer to LAC or by agreeing to their alienation from the control of the Government of Canada.
    Electronic transfer
    A mode of transfer whereby an electronic network, rather than portable storage devices, is used to transfer digital unpublished information resources of enduring value between client institutions and LAC. Examples would include email or secure File Transfer Protocol (sFTP).
    File
    An organized unit of documents brought together because they relate to the same subject, activity or transaction.
    Finding aids
    Tools to help access and facilitate the retrieval of archival material. They include descriptive inventories such as file lists, volume lists and box lists, as well as conversion lists, card indices, file classification manuals, guides, accession registers, shelf lists and automated databases. Finding aids may be created by the originating department or by LAC staff.
    Information resources
    Any documentary material produced in published and unpublished form regardless of communications source, information format, production mode or recording medium. Information resources include textual records (memos, reports, invoices, contracts, etc.), electronic records (emails, databases, Internet, intranet, data, etc.), new communication media (instant messages, wikis, blogs, podcasts, etc.), publications (reports, books, magazines), films, sound recordings, photographs, documentary art, graphics, maps and artefacts.
    Information resources of enduring value (IREV)
    Information resources that have long-term importance and relevance to Canadian society. For example, government records that have historical or archival value.
    Medium
    Includes the physical support for content (e.g., paper, film, CD) and the physical media that conveys the content (e.g., ink, paint, chalk).
    Metadata
    Information used to contextualize, manage, preserve and provide access to documentary heritage.
    Record
    Any documentary material other than a publication, regardless of medium or form.
    Registration
    The establishment of initial physical control over records received by LAC prior to their evaluation as potential acquisitions. Archivists may, if required, accept or reject material at this stage of processing the records based on existing selection criteria, valid Disposition Authorities or other guidelines relevant to the material.
    Registration control number
    A computer-generated unique identifier that is assigned by the Records Control Officer at LAC to indicate that initial physical control over transferred records has been established (e.g., 2008-1138).
    Single-file transfer
    A transfer involving only a single textual file which may result from one of the following circumstances:
    • The institution failed to include in a previous direct transfer a file that formed part of a larger set of unpublished information resources of enduring value (IREV) already transferred to LAC's care and control.
    • The institution separately sends an individual file that was created outside of its recordkeeping system. It may or may not have ever been linked to a larger set of unpublished information resources.
    • The institution requests access to an unpublished IREV while it is in dormant storage in a Regional Service Centre (RSC) and retains the information resource for a period of time, but when the information resource is returned to the RSC finds that its retention period has expired and it is eligible for immediate disposition. The institution must then perform a direct transfer of an individual file to LAC.
    Transfer
    The change in physical and intellectual ownership of unpublished information resources from the creating Government of Canada institution or a Regional Service Centre (RSC) to LAC. Transfer occurs via the application of a valid disposition authority or transfer agreement by either the creating institution or the storing RSC. Both avenues involve pre-transfer approval by the archivist.
  • Appendix B: Related Documents

    Legislation

    Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

    Royal Canadian Mounted Police

    Library and Archives Canada

  • Appendix C: Best Practices for Preserving Analogue Unpublished Information Resources of Enduring Value

    Unpublished information resources of enduring value (IREV) identified for transfer to LAC are unique and cannot be replaced. Protecting unpublished IREV during their retention periods is therefore an important issue to consider, particularly when these periods are lengthy.

    The individual lifespans of unpublished IREV are otherwise determined by many factors, such as their medium and format; the manner and frequency with which they are handled in the course of daily operations (e.g., through receipt, processing, filing and re-filing, retrieval, copying, circulation); and where they are displayed, viewed or stored. Hazards related to these activities can hasten the deterioration of the unpublished IREV.

    Providing for appropriate storage conditions is the first and best means of preserving and protecting documentary material. This includes providing proper physical arrangements such as a well-maintained building, dedicated storage space, stable environmental conditions, and sound shelving and housing, as well as providing protective policies and procedures such as handling guidelines. These are explored in greater detail below.

    Storage Conditions

    The majority of paper-based unpublished IREV spend most of their time in storage. This is true of working files, deposits to departmental records offices, and unpublished IREV in medium-term storage that will be transferred to LAC. Storage conditions have a major impact on the longevity of IREV.

    The following aspects of the storage environment should be considered:

    • Combination of temperature and humidity: the lower both of these are, the longer most unpublished IREV are projected to last. Cooler and drier conditions slow the acid deterioration common in paper. Temperatures below 18°C and relative humidity (RH) below 50% are recommended.
    • Mould contamination: mould spores are everywhere, but will activate only in the right conditions. Mould likes warm, humid (70% or higher RH), still air. Controlling temperature and humidity and having some air circulation will go a long way towards preventing a mould outbreak.
    • Cleanliness: dust and dirt can damage records, and a dirty environment can also attract pests.
    • Pest monitoring: this is a useful practice in storage spaces that are not accessed on a regular basis. Small rodents are particularly likely to establish residence if humans are not present. It is also prudent to monitor for insects in storage spaces.
    • Protection from water damage: storage spaces with water pipes overhead are cause for concern. If such a space must be used, attempts should be made to plan the shelving configuration so that pipes run in aisles and not over shelving.
    • Light: it is important to note that all light is damaging over time. Fluorescent lighting contains wavelengths that are particularly damaging. If lights are on where unpublished IREV are being stored, the material should be in folders or containers.
    • Shelving: shelving should be constructed of inert material and properly supported.
    • Regular monitoring of the storage areas assists in identifying and preventing potential damage.
    • Exposure to magnetic fields: this should be eliminated in order to prevent deterioration of magnetic media.
    • Avoid storing motion picture films on edge in order to prevent distortion. Containers should lay horizontally and canisters should not be stacked too high.

    Storage Containers

    Proper storage containers are also important for the longevity of unpublished IREV.

    • Cardboard boxes sized for files are best for these information resources. Boxes should be full but not jammed tight.
    • Acid-free file folders that are also free of colourants and dyes are recommended for unpublished IREV. Departments will need to place unpublished IREV being transferred to LAC in such folders prior to transfer, and it is best if these folders are used as early as possible in the life of the unpublished IREV. Folders should not be overstuffed; depending on the type of folder, contents should be limited to between one and four centimetres thick.
    • Alternate format materials have cabinetry available to meet specific needs: oversized flat materials can be stored in plan/file cabinets; microfilm and fiche cabinets should be used for these formats; and cabinets are available for storing quantities of compact discs. The financial outlay for dedicated cabinetry balances with the fact that they can store a significant amount of certain formats.
    • While rolled storage is generally not recommended for long-term storage of oversized IREV, it is sometimes the only option. Wall-mount racking can be an efficient way of storing tubes.
    • Audiovisual IREV (video and audio recordings and motion picture film) should be stored in appropriate containers.

    Care While Handling

    Unpublished IREV that are accessed through day-to-day operations are the most vulnerable to damage as a result of the required handling. The following are things to keep in mind regarding the handling and use of unpublished information resources:

    Food and drink
    Unpublished IREV should always be protected from contact with food and drink. These items should never be permitted in storage areas, as they can damage and stain records, and attract insects and other pests.
    Light
    As previously mentioned, all light is damaging over time. When materials are out of storage but not being consulted, close file folders, place material back in boxes and generally minimize exposure to light.
    Copying
    Whether scanning or photocopying, this light exposure is necessary but should be minimized as much as possible. When copying audiovisual IREV, the machinery should be clean, in proper working condition and used by an experienced operator.
    Pencils
    Manipulation
    Unpublished IREV should not be handled in a rough manner. Jewellery or clothing (such as scarves) that may come in contact with the IREV should not be worn. Two hands should be used to ensure stability when transferring material from one surface to another, and IREV should not be left to hang over the edge of a desk or table.
    Gloves
    Fingerprints will damage photographs and microforms. Clean gloves should be used when handling these formats; all other formats should be handled with clean hands.
    Bookmarks
    Slips of paper to mark a place in a book or file are highly recommended to prevent damage. Paper used for this purpose should be unprinted and have no dye (plain photocopier or printer paper is best).

    Detecting Damage and Deterioration

    Even with conscientious handling and appropriate storage conditions, it is necessary to check the condition of IREV periodically. This is especially true for large or inactive collections. With regular inspections (e.g., every three years), early warning signs of deterioration can be detected before unpublished IREV become inaccessible or unusable.

    The following table outlines standard signs of damage and deterioration for various media.
    Medium Signs of damage or deterioration
    Textual, Cartographic

    Physical damage

    • material may be stapled, paper-clipped or glued, creased or torn;
    • water damage may lead to mould contamination;
    • paper that has dried may be fragile, brittle or stressed.

    Light exposure

    • fading or discolouration from excess light exposure.

    Pests

    • insect casings or pest waste and damage to material.

    Chemical

    • acidic paper that is yellowed and/or brittle.
    Photographic, Art

    Physical damage

    • curled or rolled;
    • stapled, paper-clipped or glued;
    • scratched, creased, torn or otherwise mutilated;
    • fingerprinted, stained, dirty or water damaged;
    • cracked or shrunken (negatives);
    • peeling or lifting (emulsion, paint);
    • cracked or broken (glass plates);
    • mouldy.

    Pests

    • infested by insects.

    Light exposure / Chemical

    • faded, darkened or discoloured;
    • silver mirrored (common in black-and-white silver gelatin photos and nitrate negatives);
    • sticky or strong smelling (nitrate base negatives @ 1895 to 1950);
    • acetic or vinegar smell (di-acetate base negatives @ 1925 to 1960).
    Audio-Visual (audio and video recordings and motion picture film)

    Physical damage

    • scratched, cracked, delaminated or broken audio discs;
    • mould;
    • fingerprinted, stained, dirty or water damaged;
    • torn, scratched, shrunken, warped, curled or brittle motion picture film or magnetic media;
    • weak or broken splices;
    • damaged containers;
    • damaged reels or cassettes.

    Pests

    • insect casings or pest waste and damage to material.

    Chemical

    • strong, unusual odours, especially vinegar, which is a sign of cellulose acetate deterioration (also known as vinegar syndrome), or camphor/mothballs, which can be a sign of cellulose nitrate deterioration;
    • gummy or sticky deposits on magnetic media and film, which are also signs of cellulose acetate or cellulose nitrate deterioration;
    • white, crystalline, oily substance on lacquer audio discs caused by the leeching of a castor additive from the disc's nitrocellulose layer (known as palmitic acid buildup).

    Other

    • print-through (or bleed-through) – an effect that arises in the use of magnetic tape, in particular music, when "noise" is caused by the contact transfer of signal patterns from one layer of tape to another.

    If damaged material is encountered, the following measures are recommended:

    • Keep a notation of the physical condition of each inspected item.
    • Carefully separate any suspect material from other information resources.
    • Check with a qualified technician or contact LAC to confirm if damaged material can be salvaged and how it should be handled for optimal results.

    For additional guidance, the following resources may also be consulted:

    There are numerous web sites that have a wealth of information on storage, housing, environmental monitoring, disaster planning, and more. A search of some of these sites will provide additional information and guidance to other resources.

  • Appendix D: Preparing an Inventory of Unpublished Information Resources of Enduring Value

    This document provides instructions for preparing file- and item-level lists of government unpublished information resources of enduring value (IREV) proposed for transfer to LAC. They should be applied in conjunction with the Archival Metadata Guidelines for Digital Information Resources of Enduring Value (IREV) Transferred from Government of Canada Institutions to Library and Archives Canada (under development). Following these instructions will help LAC maintain its standards in the production of finding aids, ensure consistency and accuracy in archival metadata capture and entry, and meet LAC's overall need for improved research tools for Government of Canada institutions.

    To support adherence to these instructions, a set of templates for each type of information resource medium is available in Microsoft Excel format to facilitate the creation of archival finding aids by institutions. Where an appropriate list already exists and/or where an institution's electronic tracking or inventory systems permit the creation of an Excel version of the inventory, the templates should serve as a model or point of reference to be followed. To obtain a copy of the templates and a glossary that defines and outlines entry standards for the data they are to contain, institutions should submit a request to the LAC Contact Centre.

    General Instructions

    Required Information in a Finding Aid

    All finding aids of unpublished IREV proposed for transfer to LAC should contain, at a minimum, the information specified in the applicable template, including any archival control numbers that LAC may assign to the material prior to transfer (e.g., archival volume numbers). The columns within the listing templates represent the basic minimum metadata that institutions must provide for each file or item to be transferred to LAC. However, this metadata is not an exhaustive set, and institutions are encouraged to include in the finding aid any additional information that they can feasibly provide about the material (e.g., the name of the creating business unit).

    Never transfer or list information about empty files or items.

    Finding Aid Formats

    The finding must be in Excel format or an alternate format that has been pre-approved by LAC.

    Prior to transfer and as part of the transfer notification process, institutions must submit an electronic version of the finding aid by email to the LAC Contact Centre, unless it contains classified information (see Appendix G for further instructions). Note that LAC will work with institutions to provide secure methods of transferring finding aids containing sensitive information.

    In all cases, institutions are strongly urged to retain their own copy of the finding aid for reference purposes.

    Single-File Textual Transfers

    Occasionally, an institution retrieves an unpublished IREV from dormant storage in a Regional Service Centre (RSC) for consultation purposes, but discovers at the time of returning the record to storage that the accession to which it originally belonged became eligible for disposition in the meantime and was transferred to LAC without the remaining information resource. In other instances, an unpublished IREV may have been created or managed outside of an institution's recordkeeping system such that its relationship to other information resources became unclear over time. In both examples, what results is the need for an institution to arrange for the direct transfer of an individual file separately from other unpublished IREV to which it may relate.

    Whether it is transferred to LAC as an individual direct transfer or as part of another larger direct transfer of unpublished IREV, the single file must be described in a finding aid according to these instructions. In all cases, the institution should try to link the individual IREV to a file classification system. If, however, this is not feasible, the institution should clearly indicate the nature or subject of the material, as well as the office of creation, in the "File Title" column of the finding aid template. For example, if the office of creation for an unpublished IREV is the Deputy Minister's office and the IREV is a minute book, the title should appear as follows: "Deputy Minister - minute book".

    LAC may request additional information to determine if and/or how the file relates to LAC's other archival holdings.

    File Parts (i.e., File Volumes) and Pockets

    Most often, an institution will organize analogue unpublished IREV into files according to a file classification system. When the records fill one physical folder completely, the institution will then continue adding records to additional folders. These additional folders are usually known as volumes or file parts. When listing these file parts, indicate the file part number in the appropriate column of the finding aid template and enter the dates for only that file part in the "date from" and "date to" columns.

    In addition, institutions may place supplementary material related to a particular file or file part/volume into expandable folders called file pockets. These file pockets should be identified separately in the finding aid template by entering "FP" in the File Part or Pocket field preceded, if applicable, by a number corresponding to the file part/volume number to which it relates.

    Foldering and Labelling Unpublished IREV

    When permanently labelling any unpublished IREV, mark up only the exterior enclosure (e.g., folder, container), not the items themselves.

    When a file consists of multiple file parts, write the same file number on the tab of the added folder(s) and add the file part number(s) at the end of the file number.

    When placing unpublished IREV in (new) folders, mark the file number and file part number on the tab of the new folder. Do not remove the original manila file jacket, but place the file in the pH-neutral file folder with its spine down towards the expansion fold.

    For specific instructions on how to pack unpublished IREV in preparation for transfer to LAC, refer to Appendix H.

  • Appendix E: Preparing an Inventory of Portable Storage Devices

    If a transfer of digital unpublished information resources of enduring value (IREV) is carried out using portable storage devices (e.g., DVDs, external drives, etc.), an inventory of the devices must be provided and should be prepared as follows:

    • An appropriate order for listing the media in the inventory should first be determined. Preferably, the list would be prepared in accordance with the file-level inventory of the digital content proposed for transfer (see Appendix D).
    • Each portable storage device or its casing (e.g., for CDs) should then be sequentially numbered using small labels. These numbers are to be recorded in the inventory (see example below).
    • Lastly, each portable storage device should be listed with metadata providing a link to its contents. This is particularly important where only a single file- or item-level inventory is submitted for a transfer consisting of both digital and analogue unpublished IREV (e.g., paper files with related digital material on an external drive). The inventory must also contain sufficient metadata to ensure that the association between the analogue and digital portions of the transfer is understood. Classification codes or other metadata elements may be used to maintain the link between the inventory of carriers of digital unpublished IREV and the metadata identifying the IREV.
    The following table provides a sample inventory of portable storage devices. (*These columns are optional.)
    Box # Storage Device # Storage Device Type Storage Device Label Classification Code* File Title* Dates*
    4 12 DVD Smith decision 1000-8 Budget 1999
    4 13 SD card Crown vs. CBC 1000-12 "no data" 2001-2003

    Reminder: Where a transfer includes both analogue and digital unpublished IREV, Government of Canada institutions must physically segregate physical storage devices from analogue material, unless otherwise instructed by LAC.

  • Appendix F: Advance Notification of a Direct Transfer of Government Unpublished Information Resources of Enduring Value to LAC

    The Advance Notification of Direct Transfer of Government Unpublished Information Resources of Enduring Value to Library and Archives Canada form, which includes the Digital Transfer Assessment Form, is provided in Microsoft Excel format and can be obtained from the LAC Contact Centre. This form must be completed and submitted to LAC for all proposed direct transfers.

  • Appendix G: Instructions for Transferring Highly Classified or Protected Unpublished Information Resources of Enduring Value

    LAC operates in a legal and policy context, including the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, as well as Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's Security Organization and Administration Standard (1995) and the Policy on Government Security (2009), that will, in certain circumstances, temporarily delay or limit options for access to its documentary heritage holdings. At the same time, LAC is mandated by its legislation and by jurisprudence to facilitate access to its holdings. Therefore, while some unpublished information resources of enduring value (IREV) transferred to LAC in accordance with the Library and Archives of Canada Act may be subject to restrictions by virtue of either security identification or categorization or through application of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, such restrictions on access should be minimized as much as possible in accordance with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's Directive on Open Government and relevant LAC policies and guidelines.

    Below is an outline of the steps that must be followed by government institutions (unless otherwise outlined in another agreement with LAC) transferring unpublished IREV to LAC that will remain highly classified or that are designated above the Protected B level at the time of transfer. These instructions reflect handling practices which adhere to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Physical Security Guide G1-009, Transport and Transmittal of Protected and Classified Information (2006) (PDF 132 KB).

    • Regional Service Centres (RSCs): LAC cannot accept transfers of Top Secret unpublished IREV into its RSCs.
    • Digital Unpublished IREV: Transfers involving digital unpublished IREV that are classified as Secret or Top Secret or are designated as Protected C cannot be executed through electronic transfer (e.g., by email or by Secure File Transfer Protocol). Instead, they must be transferred on approved portable storage devices according to the requirements outlined in section 7.3 of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Physical Security Guide G1-009 (see above) and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's Operational Security Standard: Management of Information Technology Security (MITS).
    • Preparation for Transfer:
      • Segregation: Where possible, it is preferable for unpublished IREV in a transfer that are classified as Top Secret or designated as Protected C to be physically segregated from any unpublished IREV that are classified or designated below those security levels.
      • Packaging & Labelling: Boxes containing Protected C or Top Secret unpublished IREV must never be marked in a way that indicates they contain highly classified material. For example, "Top Secret" or "TS" should never be written on the containers. Although LAC needs to know which boxes contain classified or protected information, all boxes of a transfer should be labelled the same way regardless of their security classification. Please consult the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Physical Security Guide G1-009 (see above) for further information.
    • Pending Transfer Notification:
      • LAC must be notified in advance if the inventory (i.e., finding aid) of a transfer and/or any part of the transfer itself is classified as Top Secret or designated as Protected C.
      • Finding aids classified as Top Secret or designated as Protected C must never be submitted electronically to LAC. They should be provided in hard copy (i.e., printout of an electronic version) or on a secure portable storage device if provided in electronic format following the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Physical Security Guide G1-009 (see above).
      • The date and time of a transfer of highly classified or protected unpublished IREV must be determined in consultation with LAC.
      • LAC will ensure appropriate security measures are in place when it has agreed to pick up a transfer.

    Where the transferring institution agrees to send the unpublished IREV by courier to LAC, contact information and a delivery address will be provided by LAC. Institutions must be prepared to provide LAC with any additional information that is required about the courier service prior to the transfer.

  • Appendix H: Packaging, Packing and Labelling Direct Transfers of Government Unpublished Information Resources of Enduring Value

    The purpose of this document is to provide federal institutions with general instructions on how to package and label containers of analogue unpublished information resources of enduring value (IREV) and digital unpublished IREV on portable storage devices to be transferred to LAC.

    This information is intended to complement the standard requirements and instructions for preparing transfers of unpublished IREV that are provided in the main document, Procedures for the Transfer of Unpublished Information Resources of Enduring Value from Government of Canada Institutions to Library and Archives Canada (e.g., those pertaining to the segregation of unpublished IREV). For information on best practices for storing and handling unpublished IREV, and instructions on how to inventory and label unpublished IREV at the file- and item-levels prior to transfer, consult Appendices C and D.

    The tables that follow provide instructions on how to package, pack and label transfers according to the type of transfer to be executed and the nature of the unpublished IREV to be transferred. Specifically, the instructions are broken down into the following four categories:

    • Unpublished IREV transferred to an LAC Regional Service Centre (RSC);
    • Direct transfers of textual unpublished IREV that have been physically processed to archival standards (i.e., placed in permanent archival containers) prior to transfer;
    • Direct transfers involving textual unpublished IREV that have not been physically processed to archival standards;
    • Direct transfers involving other specialized media (i.e., non-textual unpublished IREV).

    In all cases, the mandatory use of standard containers when and where possible stems from the practical need for LAC to ensure it has the capacity to store, manage and preserve all acquisitions over the long-term. For the same reason, LAC must be notified prior to the transfer of any unpublished IREV of non-standard dimensions and/or specialized media formats so that these can be managed appropriately and in a timely manner.

    Direct Transfers to Regional Service Centres (RSCs)
    Container and packing Container label Example

    Cubic-foot boxes that open from the top and have the following dimensions:

    • Length: 38.1 cm (15 ¼")
    • Width: 28.9 cm (11 ½")
    • Height: 25.4 cm (10")

    Banker boxes are not accepted.

    Stand files upright in the box, with file identifiers facing in one direction (left to right) so they are visible when the box is opened. Organize files according to the institution's file classification system, in proper sequential order (i.e., numbers are indexed before letters; single letters before double; double letters before triple; but files can be arranged alphabetically, numerically, chronologically, etc., if there is no classification system), with all parts of the same file number kept together in numeric sequence. If a file has one or more pockets, the pocket(s) must be kept with that file.

    Pack files closely enough to remain upright in the box, but not so tightly that there is no room for a hand to remove them and not so loosely that they slump in the box. Too many or too few files or items in a container can result in damage to the material from forced removal or placement, or broken containers. The space left should be approximately ½" to 1". To keep files upright, use spacers or a more appropriately sized container as needed.

    Do not close the box simply by interfolding the flaps. Instead, use two-inch packing tape to seal the top and bottom of the box. The bottom of the box should be closed by folding the small flaps followed by the large ones.

    The box weight must not exceed 11 kg (25 lb) once fully packed.

    Use a permanent black chisel-type marker. Print characters neatly, approximately 5 cm (2") in size for easy visibility.

    Write all information on the narrow end of the box (see Area A, right).

    Write your institution name, branch, division, etc., in the upper left corner of the first and last box of each records group (see right). Acronyms for institutions or branches are acceptable, but the acronym must be clearly defined in the transfer documentation.

    Write the box number range (e.g. 1/10, 2/10, etc.) in the top right corner of each box. Numbering should begin at "1" and continue through to the final box in the shipment. Do not repeat any numbers within a single transfer.

    Direct Transfers: Processed in archival-quality containers (prepared as permanent volumes)
    Container and packing Container label Example

    First, confirm with LAC if the unpublished IREV should be placed in archival containers before transfer. This is not often required.

    With LAC approval, use boxes measuring 20 cm in width ("B-20" boxes) for standard letter-sized (8.5" x 11") or legal-sized (8.5" x 14") textual unpublished IREV. These can be obtained through National Master Standing Offer (NMSO) no. E60HS-13PACK/001/HS by quoting Product #2057. Reference (PDF 3.76 MB).

    If a B-20 box cannot be filled so that files remain upright in the box when unsupported (see below), contact LAC to obtain a smaller box.

    If the unpublished IREV are not of standard dimensions, indicate this during the transfer notification process so that appropriate containers are identified.

    Use pH-neutral file folders. This may require you to re-folder material. Ensure that the expansion fold has been folded along the appropriate crease line to fit the contents. If the file is too large to fit into one file folder safely, the files must be physically split and divided among as many folders as required. In all cases, the spine of the original file should be placed so it is resting on the bottom of the containers to avoid future damage to the documents.

    Stand files upright in the box with file identifiers facing in one direction (left to right) so they are visible when the box is opened. For any unpublished IREV that have been re-foldered, ensure that the tab of the new folder is marked with the correct file number/part. Organize files according to the institution's file classification system, in proper sequential order (i.e., numbers are indexed before letters; single letters before double; double letters before triple; but files can be arranged alphabetically, numerically, chronologically, etc., if there is no classification system), with all parts of the same file number kept together in numeric sequence. If a file has one or more pockets, the pocket(s) must be kept with that file.

    Pack files closely enough to remain upright in the box, but not so tightly that there is no room for a hand to remove them and not so loosely that they slump in the box. The space left should be approximately ½" to 1". To keep files upright, use spacers or a more appropriately sized container as needed.

    Write all information on the narrow end of the box (see example, right).

    Print characters neatly, approximately 5 cm (2") in size for easy visibility.

    Mark the Archival Reference Number and Archival Volume Numbers provided to you by LAC on the container in pencil, as demonstrated (see example, right). You will be asked later to ink in this information using a permanent black chisel-type marker when the project is complete.

    Direct Transfers: Textual - unprocessed
    Container and packing Container label Example

    Use "B-30" boxes for standard letter-sized (8.5" x 11") or legal-sized (8.5" x 14") textual unpublished IREV. These can be obtained through the NMSO no. E60HS-13PACK/001/HS with Induspac Packaging Group Inc., by quoting Product #2025. Reference (PDF 3.76 MB)

    Stand files upright in the box, with file identifiers facing in one direction (left to right) so they are visible when the box is opened. Organize files according to the institution's file classification system, in proper sequential order (i.e., numbers are indexed before letters; single letters before double; double letters before triple; but files can be arranged alphabetically, numerically, chronologically, etc., if there is no classification system), with all parts of the same file number kept together in numeric sequence. If a file has one or more pockets, the pocket(s) must be kept with that file.

    Pack files closely enough to remain upright in the box, but not so tightly that there is no room for a hand to remove them and not so loosely that they slump in the box. Too many or too few files or items in a container can result in damage to the material from forced removal or placement, or broken containers. The space left should be approximately ½" to 1". To keep files upright, use spacers or a more appropriately sized container as needed.

    Do not close the box simply by interfolding the flaps: use two-inch packing tape to seal the top and bottom of the box. The bottom of the box should be closed by folding the small flaps followed by the large ones.

    Individual files to be transferred (also referred to as "single-file transfers") may require careful handling and packaging. Contact LAC on a case-by-case basis for further instructions on how to proceed.

    Use a permanent black chisel-type marker. Print characters neatly, approximately 5 cm (2") in size for easy visibility.

    Write all information on the narrow end of the box (see example, right).

    Write the box number in the top right corner of each box. Numbering should begin at "1" and continue sequentially through to the final box in the shipment. Do not repeat any numbers within a single transfer or use alternative (e.g., alpha-numeric) numbering such as "7A" or "8.1".

    Material that has been treated for physical damage or contamination should be clearly labelled "Treated for [e.g., Mould] Contamination (Date)".

    Boxes containing classified information (e.g., Top Secret files) should not be demarcated as such (or as "TS", etc., for example). However, they should be readily locatable and/or identifiable for LAC to ensure they are properly handled during and after transfer.

    Direct Transfers: Specialized Media
    Container and packing Container label Example

    Where non-textual unpublished IREV fit safely into a standard "B-30" box, use the B-30 boxes. These can be obtained through the NMSO no. E60HS-13PACK/001/HS with Induspac Packaging Group Inc., by quoting Product #2025. Reference (PDF 3.76 MB)

    If the material does not fit safely in a standard cubic-foot box, indicate this during the transfer notification process so that appropriate containers are identified. LAC will provide further instructions.

    Consult LAC to determine how to properly pack the material in containers.

    It is preferable to place portable storage devices used to transfer digital unpublished IREV in the last box of the transfer.

    Where B-30 boxes have been used, do not close the box simply by interfolding the flaps: use two-inch packing tape to seal the top and bottom of the box. The bottom of the box should be closed by folding the small flaps followed by the large ones.

    Use a permanent black chisel-type marker. Print characters neatly, approximately 5 cm (2") in size for easy visibility.

    Write all information on the narrow end of the box (see example, right).

    Write the box number in the top right corner of each box. Numbering should begin at "1" and continue sequentially through to the final box in the shipment. Do not repeat any numbers within a single transfer, or use alternative (e.g. alpha-numeric) numbering, such as "7A" or "8.1".

    Indicate in the centre of the box the type of media it contains (see example, right). Where more detailed specifications can be provided, add this information in parentheses, e.g. "Photos (Glass plates – Fragile)"; "Photos (Nitrate)"; etc.

    Material that has been treated for physical damage or contamination should be clearly labelled "Treated for [e.g., Mould] Contamination (Date)".

    Boxes containing classified information (e.g., Top Secret files) should not be demarcated as such (or as "TS", for example). However, they should be readily locatable and/or identifiable so that LAC can ensure they are properly handled during and after transfer.

  • Appendix I: Transfer Checklist

    Indirect transfer

    Entrance Specifications have been reviewed, section 6.1

    Mode / method of transfer has been identified, section 6.2

    Unpublished IREV have been identified using disposition authorization instrument; applicable specific clauses have been identified/specified, section 6.2.1

    Inventory (i.e., finding aid) of unpublished IREV has been created, section 6.2.2

    For transfers of digital unpublished IREV, structured inventory of metadata has been created, section 6.2.2

    Direct transfer

    The Advance Notification of Direct Transfer of Government Unpublished Information Resources of Enduring Value to Library and Archives Canada form has been completed and submitted electronically* to the LAC Contact Centre, along with corresponding finding aids, section 6.2.3.

    *If the finding aid contains classified information or is designated above "Protected B", a hard copy or an electronic copy on secure portable storage devices has been submitted, section 6.2.3.

    For transfers of digital unpublished IREV, Digital Transfer Assessment Form has been completed and submitted, section 6.2.3.

    LAC has been informed if transfer requires specialized attention, section 6.2.3.

    Results from verification process have been received from LAC, section 6.2.4.

    If required, final modifications have been made to transfer contents and inventory, section 6.2.4.

    Approval has been received from LAC to proceed with transfer, section 6.2.5.

    Unpublished IREV have been segregated according to media type, section 6.2.6.

    For digital unpublished IREV, section 6.2.6.

    • File formats conform to LAC guidelines
    • Portable storage devices are LAC-approved and inventoried
    • A means of decryption is provided for encrypted portable storage devices
    • Individual files are unencrypted
    • A password is provided for password-protected material
    • Records are free of self-updating macros and fields
    • A MD5 checksum value has been created
    • Records are otherwise readable
    • Virus check has been completed

    For non-textual media types, LAC has been contacted for further instructions on packing the IREV for transfer, section 6.2.6.

    All remaining unpublished IREV have been placed in the correct LAC-approved containers, and properly labelled, section 6.2.6.

    Transfer has been scheduled in consultation with LAC. Date, time, location and method of transfer have been determined, section 6.3.

    Acknowledgement letter has been received from LAC, section 6.4.

    Transfer-related / pertinent archival reference numbers have been captured, section 6.4.

    For digital transfers, permission has been received from LAC to delete digital objects and some of the associated metadata of e-copies from the system. Deletion has been executed, section 6.4.

    Disposition action has been documented, section 6.4.

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