Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

NARA 1702, Transporting Holdings in NARA's Physical and Legal Custody

September 1, 1999

1702.1 Purpose of this directive
This directive establishes guidance for transporting holdings that are in NARA's physical and legal custody to ensure their protection, physical safety, and return to NARA.

1702.2 Authority for this directive
The Archivist is responsible for the custody, use, and withdrawal of records transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration in accordance with 44 U.S.C. 2107 note sec. 3(2), 2108, 2109, 2111 note sec. 101(b)(2), 2112(c), 2118, and 2203(f)(1); E.O. 12667; and 36 CFR 1228.198.

1702.3 Definition of terms used in this directive
As used in this directive

    a. Holdings - means (1) records as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3301 ("includes all books, papers, maps, photographs, machine readable materials, or other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics"), historical materials as defined in 44 U.S.C. 2101(2), including artifacts, artwork, and other museum holdings (primarily in the Presidential libraries), Nixon Presidential historical materials as defined in 44 U.S.C. 2111 note sec. 101(b)(2), assassination records as defined in 44 U.S.C. 2107 note sec. 3(2), and Presidential records as defined in 44 U.S.C. 2201(2) that are in both the physical and legal custody of NARA; (2) Supreme Court records that have been deposited in NARA's physical custody; and (3) the records of Congress that have been deposited in NARA's physical custody under 44 U.S.C. 2118; and records of the Architect of the Capitol. (See par. 1702.4 for holdings that are not covered by this directive.)

    b. Custodial unit - means NARA units responsible for holdings --

  • Life-Cycle Control Units (LICONS) of the Office of Records Services - Washington, DC;
  • Presidential Materials Staff in Washington, DC and the Nixon Presidential Materials Staff;
  • Presidential libraries and projects; and
  • Archival operations units of regional records services facilities (or facility directors in regional records services facilities where there is no archival operations unit).

1702.4 Holdings that are not covered by this directive
This directive does not apply to records a Federal agency has transferred to the physical, but not legal, custody of NARA, even if the records are scheduled as permanent.

1702.5 Policy

    a. Protection of holdings must be the primary consideration in selecting packing and shipping methods.

    b. Shipping methods must be appropriate to the holdings being shipped (see par. 1702.10).

    c. Office of Presidential Libraries (NL), Office of Regional Records Services (NR), and Office of Records Services - Washington, DC (NW) custodial units, Public Programs (NWE), and the Initial Processing/Declassification Division (NWMD) (for declassification and other purposes) are authorized to transport holdings in accordance with the procedures in this directive.

1702.6 Responsibilities

    a. As necessary, in consultation with Preservation Programs (NWT) and the Space and Security Management Division (NAS), the custodial unit or NWE determines the most appropriate method of shipment for holdings.

    b. The lending unit must consult with NAS when shipping holdings that:

        (1) Contain sensitive information;

        (2) Are of high intrinsic value;

        (3) Are of a large volume;

        (4) Are likely to be subject to security threats; or

        (5) Require cooperation of Federal or local law enforcement agencies.

    c. NAS must be contacted at least two weeks in advance of the proposed shipping date.

    d. NWT advises on packing and shipping methods.

1702.7 For what reasons are holdings transported?
Holdings are transported for the following reasons

    a. Loans to originators, including Federal agencies and courts, the Supreme Court, and Congress; to the President, Vice President, former Presidents or Vice Presidents or donors, or their designated representative (see NARA 1701);

    b. Exhibit loans (see NARA 1701);

    c. For preservation or conservation treatment to a vendor or NARA laboratory);

    d. For duplication or digitization (to vendors or NARA laboratories);

    e. Declassification review;

    f. Accessioning;

    g. Reallocation between NARA facilities; and

    h. Other special requests.

1702.8 What documentation is necessary for transporting holdings?

    a. Before holdings leave a NARA facility, the custodial unit or NWE must complete the appropriate form(s) as follows:

        (1) For exhibit loans, use NA Forms 16001 and 16002.

        (2) For loans other than exhibits, use NA Form 14014, National Archives and Records Administration Loan Receipt.

        (3) For transporting holdings for reasons other than described in subpars. a(1) or a(2), use NA Form 14111, Receipt for National Archives and Records Administration Holdings.

        (4) When transporting security-classified documents, use NA Form 2011, Classified Document Accountability Record.

    b. When delivering the holdings, the custodial unit representative or NWE must

        (1) Ensure that the recipient is aware of proper shipping methods for the return of holdings to NARA.

        (2) Obtain the signature of the representative of the recipient who is accepting physical custody of the original holdings.

        (3) Advise the recipient to use the same packing materials and techniques when returning holdings to NARA.

    c. When holdings are returned to NARA, the custodial unit representative must

        (1) Inspect the packaging and contents for signs of tampering or damage;

        (2) Sign the appropriate form cited in subpar. a and indicate the date that the holdings were returned; and

        (3) Notify NAS if the shipment is damaged or is missing items (see NARA 1701, par. 1701.21).

1702.9 What procedures must be followed to transport holdings from a NARA facility?
In consultation with NWT and NAS (if necessary), the custodial unit or NWE must

    a. Determine the appropriate method of transportation (see par. 1702.10) and make the necessary arrangements, taking into account intrinsic value, condition of holdings; physical handling; sensitivity, threats, or other security concerns; environmental conditions; time in transit; volume; size; weight; relevant Federal laws and regulations; and shipping costs.

    b. The date and time of shipment should be carefully selected to ensure that materials will arrive during normal working hours, and will not be left unattended overnight or over weekends. If such arrival is unavoidable, special arrangements should be made to ensure that the shipment is never left unattended or without appropriate storage conditions.

    c. Ensure that if the holdings will be stored at a non-NARA facility that the facility is equipped with the following (see par. 1702.10):

        (1) Environmental controls;

        (2) A 24-hour security system;

        (3) A fire detection and suppression system that complies with local fire codes; and

        (4) A safe or vault for holdings that are of high intrinsic or monetary value.

    d. Inform the recipient

        (1) Of the method of shipment;

        (2) Of the date on which the holdings will be shipped and the expected arrival date or the date that the holdings may be picked up;

        (3) Of any special transportation arrangements if the holdings will be picked up by the recipient;

        (4) Of the need to inspect the packaging upon arrival, to ensure that it has not been abused, to sign for the shipment, and to inform NARA of its arrival;

        (5) To notify the NARA sending unit of the delivery and the condition of the packaging and the holdings and if either shows any signs of tampering or damage.

        (6) To verify the condition of the holdings and document changes.

1702.10 What are the appropriate methods for transporting holdings?

 If the holdings are ... then ... and the following is required
low to moderate value (see Staff Information Paper (SIP) 21, Intrinsic Value in Archival Material.)

the shipping options are:

- NARA-owned or -leased vehicle (two NARA employees must accompany the vehicle)

- U.S. Government vehicle or approved company vehicle (for laboratory couriers)

- reputable fine arts carrier
     -exclusive use

- reputable fine arts carrier shuttle or NARA's contract carrier for overnight delivery service (currently FedEx)

- United States Postal Service registered mail with return receipt

- other reputable carrier with 24-hour tracking service

The custodial unit must take into account the intrinsic value and condition of the holdings, physical handling of the package, sensitivity threats or other security concerns, environmental conditions, time in transit, type of object, size, weight, and volume, relevant Federal laws and regulations, and shipping costs.

Because document storage boxes will not withstand rough handling, holdings should be packed in a sturdy corrugated shipping box or equivalent rigid shipping container for protection.

When using vehicles to transport holdings, avoid incompatible loads that could harm or soil holdings and their containers. The vehicle interior must be kept clean and free of dirt, soil, food, and all liquids.

high value or fragile and of a size and weight that can easily be hand-carried (see Staff Information Paper (SIP) 21, Intrinsic Value in Archival Material).

a NARA staff member hand-carries

a NARA staff member, designated as a courier, must be provided with a copy of the American Association of Museums Code of Practice for Couriers and a copy of this directive

the custodial unit or NWE ensures that borrowers make appropriate escort arrangements from the airport to final destination and from final destination back to the airport

NARA may require first class and/or additional seat(s) when size or value of the holdings warrant it

The courier accompanies the holdings to ensure proper handling in transit and during installation into an exhibit.

The courier travels the most direct route possible between NARA and the borrowing institution and keeps holdings in his/her possession at all times.

Overnight storage, if necessary, should be in a NARA facility, if possible, or in a hotel safe. Couriers should plan travel itinerary accordingly. Overnight storage in a private residence or hotel room is not permissible.

Security escorts may be required for local ground transportation from a NARA facility to the airport and from the airport to the final destination (as instructed by NAS).

For international shipments, the courier works with NAS, the NARA representative, and customs broker to ensure that all customs requirements are in order.

Trains, buses, or personal vehicles are not permitted for courier trips (unless NAS is consulted).

high value or fragile, and cannot be safely hand-carried

pack in museum quality crates or other containers appropriate to the type of object and its value and fragility and transport via:

- NARA-owned or -leased vehicle or NARA personnel (two NARA employees must accompany the vehicle)

- "exclusive use" on reputable fine arts carrier

- reputable fine arts carrier "shuttle"

- reputable air-freight carrier for international or other destinations where ground transportation is not practical

If NARA vehicles or other approved vehicles are used, they must be equipped appropriately for holdings being transported, including air conditioning/heating, strapping for crates and other containers, blankets, plastic sheeting, etc. The vehicle must be attended at all times.

For ground transport with fine arts shipper, holdings must be transported on air-ride, climate controlled truck with two drivers.

If holdings are shipped via air as cargo, they must be safely packed in museum quality crates. If a courier has been designated to accompany the shipment, he/she is responsible for ensuring that the shipment is safely loaded and unloaded which may require assistance from airline and/or customs personnel.

Shippers storage areas must be protected with 24-hour professional guards and/or 24-hour electronic security systems connected to central monitoring station. Fire detection and suppression systems must comply with local fire codes. Storage areas must be climate controlled.

Containers must be sealed to protect against tampering.

weapons, archaeological objects, natural history specimens, or other regulated materials consult appropriate Federal statutes and regulations and consult General Counsel (NGC), if necessary See The New Registration Methods Manual, ed. Rebecca A. Buck and Jean Allman Gilmore, American Association of Museums, 1998 and A Legal Primer on Managing Museum Collections, by Marie C. Malaro, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998.
classified holdings follow procedures in INFO. SECURITY 202 and DECLASS 1403


1702.11 What are the restrictions on transporting holdings?

    a. The custodial unit or NWE may recommend that the holdings not be transported, because of their condition or for other reasons.

    b. All shipments must be in compliance with Federal statutes, regulations, and international law. (See A Legal Primer on Managing Museum Collections, by Marie Malaro, Smithsonian Press, 1998.)