Transferring Records - State Record Center and Archives

Both the Records Center and State Archives serve the roles of storing records and providing reference services, but there are several fundamental differences, outlined below:

State Records Center: (Located in BABLO Building, behind Maine State Lottery in Hallowell)

  • Serves as an off-site storage facility for state agency records that remain under the legal custody of those agencies
  • Houses only those records that are subject to records retention schedules and have not yet reached the end of their retention period
  • Stores records based on agency retentions for administrative, fiscal or legal purposes, which are then destroyed (according to schedule)
  • Only allows the agency of origin to access the records
  • Delivers records back to the agency of origin upon request
  • Assigns each box of records a unique bar-code number for inventory control, tracking and reference

The Records Center provides safe, environmentally controlled storage for agency records that must be temporarily retained. These are closed records which an agency has infrequent need for but still must be retained to fulfill fiscal, administrative or legal needs per the schedules. Records Center services are available to all state agencies. All records sent to the Records Center must be on an approved records retention schedule.

To retrieve records from the Records Center, an employee must be an approved cardholder and be registered in our system for that agency. Agencies can send requests (email preferred for accuracy), which are usually retrieved within 24 hours; earlier for emergencies. Large reference activities are conducted by agency personnel themselves. 

Disposition notices will be sent to the agency Records Officer when records have met their final retention time and are due for destruction.

State Archives: (Located in Cultural Building, next to the Maine State Museum in Augusta)

  • Only stores records that have historical value
  • Only accepts records that have completed their retention period and are considered permanent
  • Has legal custody of the material transferred to the State Archives when it is received
  • Allows record access to anyone, under the terms of the Freedom of Access Act
  • Does not allow records to leave the building
  • Catalogs its holdings by subject, content and origin

Questions concerning use of the Records Center or Archives should be directed to your agency's designated Records Officer or to the Records Center staff.

State Records Center/State Archives Instructions (doc)

Includes when to send your records, how to transfer, how to pack boxes, retrieving records and destruction of records

Records Center Forms (use these forms for Archival records also)

Records Officer/Cardholder Form - Records Officers must be appointed by Commisioner, Director, or other agency head. Cardholders may be authorized by the agency RO.
For State Agencies e-mail to Felicia Kennedy
For Courts e-mail to Rob Caron

Transmittal of Records and Transmittal of Records Continuation Sheet - They require a Records Officer's signature and appropriate access card number. If e-mailing, please submit to : Records Center
Note: Requests will be filled in the order in which they are received. Please allow 2-4 weeks once transmittals are received for materials to be picked up. Transmittal of Records may also be used by the Courts.

Packing List
This form should be completed (as many pages as necessary) and enclosed in any box packed for transfer to the State Records Center or the Division of Archives Services. You should keep a copy for your own records, listing each file in the box. If you have questions about this, please contact Rob Caron.

Request for Reference Service
Download, complete and then e-mail to Records Center.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use the Records Center?
Maine State Agencies, Courts, Legislature - The State Records Center stores records for Maine State agencies once they have met their in agency retention.  The records must be listed on an approved records retention schedule.
How do I transfer my boxes to the Records Center?
Records must first be an approved records retention schedule. Obtain appropriate archival boxes. Prepare transmittal form and packing list. Use forms found above under "Records Center Forms." Contact Records Center staff to arrange for pick-up of the boxes or they can be shipped or delivered once the transmittal is received/approved. Complete instructions are included above "Records Center Instructions."
Where do I get boxes for storage at the Records Center?
Records Center Boxes can be ordered from WB Mason (Paige Company #801 Archive Boxes - PAIG801).
How quickly can I get a file?
You may request records by e-mail (preferred), telephone, or mail.  If we receive correct and complete referencing information, we will put the requested records in our outgoing mail within 24 hours – excluding days when state offices are closed – or notify you that they are ready for pickup, if you prefer. 
What is the difference between the State Records Center and the State Archives?
They are at separate locations and have two entirely separate purposes. The Records Center provides off-site storage to state agencies--the agencies retain legal custody until the time the records meet their retention period, at which time a notice is sent for the records to be destroyed. When records have met agency retention requirements and are designated "Archival," agencies transfer legal custody of the record to the State Archives for historical preservation and public research.  Confidential records should not be deemed as "Archival" for the purposes of this agency.  If an agency needs to retain confidential records permanently, they should be kept within the agency or the confidential information should be redacted.  According to State Statute, all records transferred to the Maine State Archives are available for public examination after 50 years.
Who has access to our agency records?
All records created or maintained by state agencies are the property of the State of Maine and the public that paid for their creation. However, the agency that creates or maintains the records is the legal custodian of the records. Records transferred to the Records Center remain in the legal custody of the agency of origin. This means that the Records Center only takes physical custody of the records.  The Records Center is responsible for protecting the records from unauthorized access, damage, and deterioration. Both legal control and control of access to the records is retained by the agency until the records are either transferred to the Archives or destroyed. The Records Center will not release records to another agency or to the public.  (Only agency card holders have access.)
Is our office notified before records are destroyed?
Yes! Notices of disposition to destroy records are sent to the Agency Records Officer to obtain a signature from the originating department authorizing their destruction. This is required before the Records Center disposes of any records. This process can be delayed if justification is given for documenting legal, audit or program need.