Accessioning Electronic Records
When preparing permanent electronic and special media records for transfer to the National Archives, please consult the NARA electronic records archivist for your agency. You may also contact Etransfers@nara.gov.
Federal agencies are required to accession their permanent records into the National Archives and Records Administration. Authority and regulations for this requirement are found in 36 CFR 1235. Additional requirements and guidance include:
- NARA Bulletin 2015-04, Metadata Guidance for the Transfer of Permanent Electronic Records.
- NARA Bulletin 2014-04, Revised Format Guidance for the Transfer of Permanent Electronic Records.
- NARA Bulletin 2020-02, Guidance on Scheduling the Early and Late Transfer of Permanent Records
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Transferring Electronic Records to NARA
ERA 2.0 Transfer Request (TR) Fields
The following are explanations for the TR fields most frequently needing clarification. Note that mandatory fields are indicated on the TR by a red asterisk (*). Please review ERA 2.0 Training Support Materials and ERA 2.0 Agency Guides for additional information.
Creating Office (not mandatory): This field should contain the offices under which the records being transferred were created, NOT the Records Management offices transferring the records. Only complete these fields if the information is known.
Accession Title: This field should contain the title of the series not a historical synopsis or description of the record content.
Date Span of Records - From: This field should contain the date of the earliest record in the transfer, be as specific as you can, but only the year in mandatory.
Date Span on Records - To: This field should contain the date for the latest record in the transfer.
Disposition Authority Number: This field is the identifying number of the approved Records Schedule Item. A separate TR does not need to be created for a Legacy Schedule documentation item; documentation files should be included in the TR for the records.
Type of Legal Transfer: The dropdown menu options are Annual FRC Move, Direct Offer, or Pre-Accession. Most electronic records transfers are a Direct Offer. If Pre-Accession is selected, then a valid date on which NARA can take legal custody must be provided. For information on pre-accessioning, see Pre-Accessioning for Existing Records Schedules.
Records Type: More than one General Records Type may be chosen. Typically both Data Files and Textual Records are chosen.
Access Restrictions: The options in the dropdown menu indicate whether records are security classified, subject to FOIA exemptions, or subject to other statutory exemptions. Please choose either Restricted-Fully, Restricted-Partly, or Unrestricted, and complete the required associated fields.
- Restricted-Fully: All records in this transfer are restricted. This applies to:
- Records that are security classified (Confidential, Secret, Top Secret, SCI). Include FOIA (b)(3) as the specific restriction.
- Records that are subject to the Privacy Act. Include FOIA (b)6) as the specific restriction.
- Restricted-Partly: Some records in this transfer are restricted. Include an attachment or other documentation identifying the restricted records.
- Unrestricted: Records in this transfer are not restricted.
Privacy Act Notice and Federal Register citation: If records are subject to the Privacy Act then choose yes and provide the Federal Register citation.
Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI): If records are subject to Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) controls then choose yes and provide the Safeguarding and/or Dissemination Authority. This indicates that this Transfer Request includes records with markings included in the ISOO Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) Registry.
Location of Records: These fields identify where the records are currently being stored and the destination custodial unit for the records once transferred:
- Agency Name and Address: Provide the information
- Destination Custodial Unit: National Archives at College Park – Electronic Records Division
- If transferring media, select Electronic Records on Physical Media, and add estimated volume, electronic transfer media, media disposition, and container type. Container type indicates the type of box in which the records will be transferred.
- If transferring electronically, select Electronic Records by Electronic Means, and add estimated volume.
Submitting and Approving the TR
Once a draft of the TR is complete, the Transfer Official submits the TR to the Agency Approving Official. Then the Agency Approving Official rejects or submits the TR. If rejected, the TR returns to the Transfer Official. If submitted, the TR goes to the NARA Transfer Staff for approval. Either the Transfer Official or Agency Approving Official must notify the NARA archivist that the TR has been submitted.
A TR may be rejected by NARA if we identify discrepancies in any fields. The accessioning archivist will notify you of the corrections that are needed and then the TR can be resubmitted.
Agencies may transfer electronic records on magnetic tape, compact disk-read only memory (CD-ROM), digital versatile disc-read only memory (DVD-ROM), external hard drive, and via secure file transfer protocol (SFTP). Please contact your NARA electronic records archivist to discuss other options or limitations.
Please see Pre-Accessioning for Existing Records Schedules for disposition instructions for agencies that have existing records schedules that allow pre-accessioning.
ERA 2.0 is an unclassified system but classified records still require a Transfer Request to be completed in ERA 2.0. Keep in mind that no classified information may be included in ERA 2.0. The records themselves will be stored in a classified system.
The form NA-14130b, Classified Records Transfer Checklist for Electronic Records & Digital Special Media Recordsshould also accompany all classified records Transfer Requests as an attachment.
Updated: April 13, 2023