Federal Records Management

Pre-Accessioning for Existing Records Schedules

January 31, 2023, updated September 26, 2023

NARA is no longer creating agency records schedules with pre-accessioning disposition instructions. As of April 19, 2022 NARA Bulletin 2022-01 formally revoked NARA Bulletin 2009-03, Pre-accessioning Permanent Electronic Records. 

The following steps remain in effect for agencies with existing records schedules that allow pre-accessioning. 

  1. NARA and the agency agree that NARA should pre-accession a body of scheduled permanent electronic records into the physical custody of the National Archives. The agency retains legal custody of the pre-accessioned electronic records.
  2. The agency completes and signs an Agreement to Transfer Records to the National Archives (SF 258) and submits it to NARA. Block 11 contains the date that the records will be eligible for acceptance into the legal custody of the National Archives.
  3. To distinguish between a pre-accession and a legal transfer of records to NARA, the agency completes Block 11 (in addition to the date) with the NARA bulletin number for pre-accessioning permanent electronic records and the date of the bulletin.
  4. NARA processes the records and then countersigns the SF 258 in block 3A and returns a copy to the agency.
  5. When the time agreed to accept the records into the legal custody of the National Archives arrives (the date specified in Block 11), NARA notifies the agency.
  6. If the agency has no objection, NARA will sign in Block 16 to accept the records into the legal custody of the National Archives of the United States.
  7. At that time, NARA assumes responsibility for providing reference services for the electronic records.

ERA 2.0 supports the creation of pre-accession Transfer Requests (TRs). Agencies may choose to submit either an SF 258 document via email or TR via ERA 2.0.

For additional information on pre-accessioning using an existing records schedule with pre-accessioning disposition instructions, please contact Etransfers@nara.gov to connect with your agency’s NARA electronic records accessioning archivist.