Library Services


How to transfer records off-site ("archiving")

Guidelines on sending your files for storage. The Records Office provides the paper records storage service for the whole of UCL. No third-party storage providers are permitted.

Please follow our guidance on managing paper records and disposing of paper records. When you are ready to send your files for storage, you should follow these simple guidelines. This will help us to help you manage your records correctly. There is no charge for use of this service.

We store only paper records. We do not store:

  • Furniture
  • Publications / books
  • Duplicate records
  • Non-paper records
  • NHS records.

Records should be at least one year old at the time of transfer. If this is not the case, please speak to us first.

Office moves

UCL Records Office can provide support to departments and staff who are relocating. We do however require enough notice in order to offer our services and survey what we can and cannot take. Please read our guidance on disposing of paper records and contact us if you need advice.

Using the database

The Records Office System (ROS) is no longer in use, and has been replaced by a Physical Records Management System (PRMS) module within Documentum. Previously created records have now been migrated to PRMS, and as with ROS, the new system enables users to create boxes and files as well as search for and request records from storage.


As with ROS, access is available to UCL staff with a valid user ID and password: please contact records.office@ucl.ac.uk and a registration form will sent to you. After being granted access you will be given a guide to follow. Staff that had not previously had access to ROS will be added to the user mailing list.

Storage boxes

Storage box

You must use the boxes supplied by the Records Office for transferring your records. We supply these as flat packs free of charge. Please contact us to request boxes. You can collect these or we can arrange for delivery.

We use one standard box size. Its dimensions are: 360mm (L) x 140mm (H) x 255mm (W). This is adequate for most paper files. For other box sizes or particular needs, please contact us.

Packing the boxes

Boxes must be filled, with no empty spaces, but should not be over-filled, and the lid should close comfortably. Do not tape the lid to make it fit - if you do this, the box will be returned to you.

Ring binders, lever arch files and box files waste space and must not be put into boxes. Instead, remove the contents and put them into a file wallet, writing the title and dates of the file on the outside.

Boxes should weigh no more than 8 kg: overweight boxes will be returned for repacking.

When you have entered the information about your records into the database, print off a box list and put it into the box.

Write the departmental box number generated by the database on the box. Do not write anything else on the box.

DO NOT submit files that have already been sent offsite and subsequently requested back by your department. These files should be returned to the Records Office.


When you have finished listing and packing your records, contact us and we will arrange for the Porters to deliver the boxes to us. Collection times may vary depending on location, and could take up to two weeks, depending on how busy the Porters are. Please bear this in mind when creating your boxes, and ensure you have the space to store boxes waiting for collection.

DO NOT contact the Estates Helpdesk for collection. This must be arranged with the Records Office.

Before checking your boxes on the database as ready for collection, please ensure that the information you have submitted is accurate. You are responsible for the accuracy and adequacy of the information you provide.


The database training module will instruct you on how to retrieve records from storage.

Records are usually returned to the Records Office by 2pm on the following working day, but records requested made before 10 am may be back on the same day. Where possible, records should be collected in person, but may be sent via the internal mail. Should you wish to retain records permanently, please advise us so that we can update the database.


When a box is sent to the store it is given a retention period. We will contact you when the disposal date has been reached for final appraisal. Unless further retention can be justified, the box will be destroyed.


For advice and support please email records.office@ucl.ac.uk.