Federal Records Management

AC 20.2020

Date: June 25, 2020
MEMORANDUM TO FEDERAL AGENCY CONTACTS: Sending Records to NARA during the Pandemic 

This memo provides information to Federal agencies about sending Federal records to NARA during the pandemic. Due to the coronavirus public health emergency, all Federal Records Centers (FRCs) and all archival facilities remain closed until further notice. While NARA cannot accept physical transfers of records until our facilities are reopened, we can work with agencies to prepare for eventual transfers when circumstances allow. 

 ● For Federal Records Center transfers: 

The Federal Records Centers Program (FRCP) continues to store agency records and provide emergency services. The FRCP will update their website (https://www.archives.gov/frc) as their facilities begin reopening. To prepare for the eventual reopening, agencies may continue using ARCIS (Archives and Records Center Information System) to begin the transfer process of federal records to the FRCs. FRCs will review and approve transfers through ARCIS. However, agencies should not ship records to the federal records centers until agencies have received confirmation from NARA that we can receive physical transfers. For more information about FRC facilities and services during the pandemic, see https://www.archives.gov/frc/temporary-closure-faq.

● For archival transfers of paper or analog records:

NARA continues to maintain and preserve archival records and to provide essential services whenever possible. As archival facilities begin to reopen, NARA will provide information at https://www.archives.gov/locations. Agencies who want to transfer paper or analog records stored outside of FRCs may continue drafting, processing, and proposing transfer requests in ERA (Electronic Records Archives). NARA will continue reviewing proposed transfer requests for approval. When NARA archival facilities are able to accept physical transfers, NARA staff will inform agencies that shipments can resume.  

● For archival transfers for electronic records: 

Agencies are encouraged to continue proposing and arranging for the transfer of electronic records. Please contact your electronic records accessioning archivist, or contact etransfers@nara.gov, to coordinate the transfer of permanent electronic records. 

● Annual Move:

Every year, NARA conducts an annual move to help agencies transfer records stored in Federal Records Centers to the National Archives. For the 2020 Annual Move, NARA approved the majority of proposed transfers in ERA and physically received the records. NARA is actively working towards finalizing transfers and developing solutions for transfers that were not yet shipped. For the upcoming 2021 Annual Move, we will continue to load drafted transfer requests in ERA for agencies and do not anticipate delays to the normal timeline. We will notify agencies when the 2021 draft transfer requests can be officially proposed in ERA.

At this time we anticipate using a phased approach where services such as shipping, transporting, and receiving records will coincide with NARA’s reopening of facilities. These activities will be location dependent. Before sending records to any NARA facility, agencies should confirm shipping and receiving services are available at the desired location. We would like to thank all agencies who have proposed and submitted transfers. We appreciate your continuing efforts where possible and holding transfers for shipment until further notice. Your patience during this time is greatly appreciated. 

Chief Records Officer
for the U.S. Government