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Transferring Digital Records

Transferring digital records to the State Archives follows the same principles as the transfer of paper and other non-digital records. However, since the unique qualities of digital records require some variations in procedure, we have separate procedure page specifically for the transfer of digital records. View procedures on transferring non-digital records

As with paper records, digital records that will never be destroyed but that are no longer needed by the agency that created them for their day-to-day business are transferred to the State Archives for permanent retention. Here are the requirements for digital transfers:

Records Transfer Requirements

  • You can only transfer records that are identified as permanent on an approved Agency Records Retention and Disposal Schedule (retention schedule, for short). View additional information about retention schedules
  • Permanent records can only be transferred to the Archives when no longer needed for current agency business. If there is a reasonable possibility that in the course of business you will need the record back or will need to add to the record, the record should not come to the Archives yet. This is often the case for recent records (for example, from the last 10 years) that are related to case files or project files.
  • Before you transfer records, you must submit and have the Archives approve an Digital Record Transfer Inventory form. The form must be submitted electronically by email to
  • If there are indexes associated with the records that you intend to transfer, you must transfer those indexes along with the records. This ensures that the Archives can provide appropriate access to any records transferred to us.
  • If there is any additional information necessary to understand or provide access to the records being transferred (such as data dictionaries), you must also include this information with the Digital Record Transfer Inventory form.
  • To ensure long-term accessibility to permanent records, records transferred to the Archives must be in non-proprietary, open formats. In other words, records must not be in a format that requires specialized software to access them.
  • The Archives can only take on records if the records are in a format we can access and if we have the necessary information to provide access to the records in accordance with any legal restrictions.

This web site is provided as a courtesy of the Maryland State Archives. As you develop your records management program, you should consult with your agency’s Records Officer.

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.

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