Federal Records Management

Accessioning Textual Records

Textual Accessioning Overview

shrink wrapped boxes

The Annual Move is a regularly scheduled process by which records are moved from the legal custody of federal agencies and physical custody of the Federal Records Centers to the physical and legal custody of the National Archives. Direct Offers are records offered by Federal agencies without NARA prompting. Direct Offers are primarily located at one of the agency’s facilities.

For more specific guidance on these types of accessions:

Finding Aid Criteria

All transfers to the National Archives must be accompanied with a finding aid in order to facilitate description and access by NARA staff and the public.

Packaging & Shipping Guidelines

Once your request to transfer records is approved by NARA your textual accessioning point of contact will contact you to discuss the delivery method. If the records are located within 50 miles of the DC-Metro area your records may be eligible for pick up by our Motor Pool.

Generally, the majority of records can be packed in Standard-size record box (14¾" x 12" x9½") for legal- or letter-size files (NSN 8115-00-1178249 available via GSA Advantage).

Please note: Boxes exceeding these dimensions will not fit on NARA shelving. If your records do not fit into a standard box with these measurements please contact your textual accessioning point of contact to discuss alternatives before choosing a different size box.

packed boxes with letter and legal sized files

Please use standard containers only. Containers can be ordered from GSA Advantage.

  • Please do not over pack the boxes. Leave a 1- to 2- inch space in each box to allow ease of reference.
  • Do not put additional material on the bottom, side, or top of the records in the box.
  • Please include a copy of the folder title list in the first box of the transfer.
  • Classified records should be doubled wrapped and shipped in accordance with your agency security procedures as well as the 32 CFR 2001.46 requirements.
  • See an example of  double wrapped packaging .

Contact Us

For questions about:

Textual records accessioning at Archives II in College Park, MD

Textual records accessioning at Archives I in Washington, DC

The Annual Move

Appraisal and scheduling

Updated: April 1, 2014