[skip to content]

Records Transfers

SOAS off-site records storage service

The SOAS off-site records storage service is contracted to a records storage provider, DeepStore. These pages explain the processes and forms staff must use when they wish to deposit new records, retrieve records or return existing boxes to the store.

Requests for retrievals, returns or deposits will only be accepted if staff use the standard forms provided. There is guidance on records management at SOAS which may help staff to make decisions about whether and when to use the off-site archive or whether records can be disposed of instead.

Off-site records store
Depositing new records in the off-site records store
  • Identify the files and documents to be stored and prepare for storage.
    If possible take files out of lever arch folders, ring binders and box files to make best use of box space.
  • Estimate how many archive boxes you require and order these.
    Boxes can be ordered through the Office Depot stationery catalogue (284 x 290 x 383mm, pack of 10, code 4875732).
  • Contact the Directorate to order barcode labels.
    Email records-management@soas.ac.uk with the number of boxes you are likely to be transferring, where they are/will be located on the preferred date of transfer and a preferred transfer date. You will then be sent enough barcode labels for your records.
  • Pack records in the box and add the barcode label.
    Do not overload boxes. The lid must always lie flat. Be aware of possible health and safety hazards to yourself or others from overloaded, unstable or badly stored or stacked boxes. Always stick the barcode label on the END of the box, never on the side or top. Ensure that you stick the large barcode label on the box. The smaller barcode you can either use for your own records or stick on the transfer form in the barcode number box instead of typing out the number. If you do not need it, the smaller barcode can be disposed of.
  • Store "like" material with like.
    For example, put financial records in one box and committee papers in another box. Try to avoid mixing different types of records with different retention periods in the same box, as this may lead to some records being kept for longer than necessary. How long each box will be kept will be based on the longest retention period of the material in the box. Details of retention periods can be found in the SOAS Retention Schedule. If you can’t find your records in there, try the JISC Records Retention Schedule, or contact the Information Compliance Manager for advice.
  • Complete one copy of the Records Store Transfer Form for each box.
    The form should be completed electronically. All sections must be completed otherwise the box cannot be accepted. The description of contents should be meaningful and clear. List date ranges and details of each file in the box, for example: 


Start    End File     Title/Description
1/10/200831/10/2008Off-site records store tender evaluation
1/05/200931/05/2009Postgraduate History Dissertations
1/7/200831/7/2008Exam scripts, course codes xxxx, xxxx

You are responsible for providing sufficient details of the contents for you or someone else to be able to identify and retrieve a box in future.

  • Submit your Transfer Form. DO NOT transfer any boxes at this time.
    Print one copy of the transfer form and place in the box on top of the records. Save one copy of the form to your local network drive. Email a copy of the form to records-management@soas.ac.uk . NB Your form and any boxes you wish to deposit may be returned to you if it has not been completed in full and/or the contents should not be stored at the off-site store (eg they are not records or they have passed the retention period indicated in the School’s Retention Schedule).
  • Wait to hear from Information Compliance.
    You will be contacted by the Information Compliance Manager or Clerical Assistant. They may ask to visit you to check the boxes have been labelled and boxed correctly. When they are content that the boxes are ready for transfer, they will arrange for porters to collect the boxes from you. Please ensure that the porters can access the boxes on the agreed transfer date.
  • Your box(es) will be delivered to the SOAS loading bay/secure waiting area for collection by Deepstore.
Off-site archive
  • Identify the box number(s) required from your records – you should be able to find this from your copies of the transfer forms you have submitted with the boxes.
  • Send an email to records-management@soas.ac.uk listing the barcodes/references of the boxes you require, where you want them to be delivered to, and when you require them to be delivered by. NB: requests have to be received by Deepstore by 4pm for boxes to be delivered the next day, so please allow time for this.
  • A request will be submitted to Deepstore.
  • When the boxes have arrived, the Information Compliance Manager or Clerical Assistant will arrange for them to be delivered to your desk by porters
  • Please note that you should never add or remove records to/from boxes that you have retrieved. Contents should be the same when returned as when retrieved.
Returning existing boxes to the archive
  • When you are ready to return boxes that you have retrieved, email records-management@soas.ac.uk listing the barcodes/references of the boxes to be returned.
  • Deepstore will be asked to collect the boxes as soon as possible (next day if notified before 4pm).
  • Your box(es) will be collected from your desk by the porter service and delivered to the loading bay/secure holding area ready for collection by Deepstore.
Review and Destruction
  • Boxes deposited will need to be reviewed when the expiry date has been reached (based on the retention schedule).
  • An email will be sent to the owner listing the boxes that have passed their expired date. You will be asked to examine the list and confirm if the boxes can be confidentially destroyed.
  • Occasionally it may be possible to extend the review date in consultation with the Information Compliance Manager.
  • Authorisation for boxes to be destroyed must be confirmed by return of email.

The Information Compliance Manager can be contacted at the following address:

Information Compliance Manager
Thornhaugh Street
Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4150
Fax: +44 (0)20 7898 4019
Email: records-management@soas.ac.uk

Last updated March 2008