City Record Transfers

Transfer of Records to the Baltimore City Archives Records Center

For detailed information about transferring city records, please review this site and refer to Baltimore City Archives – The Transfer Process.

Records MUST first have a Retention Schedule

A Records Retention Schedule is a policy document that is formulated by your departmental Records Manager with help provided by City Archives staff. Records Retention Schedules govern all City departmental records that are transferred to the City Archives. If the records you wish to transfer do not have a Records Retention Schedule, one must first be written and approved before any transfer can be scheduled. You may begin this process by completing the Records Inventory Form and returning it as an email attachment to

Please fill in the Records Inventory Form as completely as possible. If needed, use an additional blank page. Explain what the record is used for as well as how it is used. List any departmental or “nickname” given the record. List reasons that justify the requested retention period.

Records with an existing Retention Schedule

A transfer of records must have the prior approval of the City Records Management Officer.Before approval will be given, a Records Transmittal Request (RTR) must be submitted via email to for review by Records Center staff. An inventory of the contents of each box must be included on the RTR. The Records Management Officer may schedule inspection of the boxes that are to be transferred before approving the transfer. Once the RTR has been approved, a date and time will be assigned for the transfer by City Archives staff. Agencies may not schedule transfers without approval. If a transfer arrives without prior approval or on a date other than the one assigned for it, it may be refused.

It is the responsibility of the agency sending the records to have personnel on hand to shelve the transferred boxes. Contact us at for a list of contractors if your employees cannot perform this task.

Special boxes required

Records transferred to the City Archives must be in approved record center boxes that cannot exceed 15” x 12” x 9 7/8” in dimension.  Materials received in containers not compatible with Archives shelving, such as “banker’s boxes” or copy paper boxes, will not be accepted.

Record center boxes may be purchased from Maryland Correctional Enterprises online or by calling 410-540-5454 and ask for item no. 123139, “File and Record Storage Box.”  Do not overfill boxes when packing.  Contact the BCA with questions at  (410) 396-3884 or by e-mailing

The boxes must be clearly marked with the following information: the box number, the department or agency name, retention schedule number, and the title of record. If the box contains folders or files that are identified by a name or number, place the name or number from the first and last folder/file on the front of the box. When the material within a box is contained in folders, the box must be accompanied by an inventory list that identifies each folder; the RTR form should be used for these inventories. No scratch-outs or writing over is permitted on the boxes. The information on the box front must be clear and legible.

Retrieving archived records

If a document or record that has been transferred to the City Archives is needed by an agency a request for said document is to be sent to The document will then be scanned and sent in a PDF format to the requesting agency. Fees may apply.

More information

For detailed information about transferring city records, please refer to Baltimore City Archives – The Transfer Process.

For attendees of our Records Management Seminars, here is the Records Management Seminar page with the resources and powerpoints given during the class.

This web site is presented for reference purposes under the doctrine of fair use. When this material is used, in whole or in part, proper citation and credit must be attributed to the Maryland State Archives. PLEASE NOTE: The site may contain material from other sources which may be under copyright. Rights assessment, and full originating source citation, is the responsibility of the user.

Tell Us What You Think About the Baltimore City Archives Website!

[ Archives' Home Page ||  Maryland Manual Online  ||  Reference & Research
||  Search the Archives   ||  Education & Outreach  ||  Archives of Maryland Online ]

Governor     General Assembly    Judiciary