Tag Archives: Government Records Section

Labor Day Holiday

"Sawyer, Thomas 1771,” from the District Superior Court Records, one of the new collections being added to the NC Digital Collections.

“Sawyer, Thomas 1771,” from the District Superior Court Records, one of the new collections being added to the NC Digital Collections.

The State Archives of North Carolina will be closed Sept. 2-4, 2017 for the Labor Day holiday. However, our online catalog and digital collections are available to you any time. Over the last few months we’ve added several new collections to the North Carolina Digital Collections, so watch for upcoming blog posts about those materials.

In other news, if you don’t follow our records management blog you may have missed these posts:

And our audio visual and military archivists have loaded new photographs into Flickr, such as:

Photograph of Lawrence E. Allen (center) and two unidentified African American shipmates in Sweden

Photograph of Lawrence E. Allen (center) and two unidentified African American shipmates in Sweden. (Call number: CLDW 23.F3.13)


How Did We Move a Warehouse Full of Records?

[This blog post is cross-posted from the G.S. 132 Files, the records management blog of the Government Records Section of the State Archives of North Carolina. The original post was written by section head Becky McGee-Lankford.]

How Did We Move a Warehouse Full of Records?


Moving into the new warehouse.

One of the primary functions of the Government Records Section, Division of Archives and History (State Archives of North Carolina) is to provide state agencies with storage facilities for their inactive records.  We operate three storage facilities to accomplish this goal.  Due the term of the lease ending with one of our storage facilities (BSA), the staff of the Division of Archives and Records has engaged in a massive storage facility relocation project that took place from May 2014 to March 2015.

This project started almost a year ago in April 2014 when we began to work with the State Property Office to seek new leased space.  Once the bid process was completed and the proper contracts were signed we obtained a new leased space in September 2014.

The staff of the State Archives worked in three phases to transition the records from the former storage facility (BSA) to the new warehouse (Front Street). Phase 1: Preparation and Planning; Phase 2: Removal of Records and Disassembly and Reassembly of Shelves; and Phase 3:  Re-shelving of Records.


Setting up the shelving

Phase 1: Preparation and Planning

During the preparation stage we worked to minimize the cost of moving the records from one facility to the new warehouse.  From May – October 2014 we:

  • Destroyed 18,229.55 cu. ft. of materials scheduled for destruction.
  • Moved 8,776 cu. ft. of records from the BSA to one of our other two storage facilities.
  • Hired a structural engineer to design a shelving plan for the new warehouse facility.
  • Prepared the Scope of Work and received bids from contractors to 1) remove the records from the warehouse; 2) Store the records in a temporary location; 3) Move the shelving from the first warehouse and rebuild the shelves in the new facility; and 4) Return the records to the shelves in the new facility. The contractor was secured in early November 2014.
  • Developed workflow for records relocation. We also developed documentation to track the movement of the boxes from the shelf to the pallet, the pallet storage in the temporary location, and placement of the boxes in their new location at the new facility. Detailed documentation of individual series of records (including which pallet they were stored) was important to capture, since the clear chain of custody for the records needed to be identifiable through all stages of the process.

Phase 2: Removal of Records and Disassembly and Reassembly of Shelves

  • November – December 2014 contract workers and Division staff worked to palletize and remove records from the storage facility. Record pulls were completed in 15 days.
  • Late December 2014 – February 2015 contract workers disassembled and reassembled the shelving at the new storage facility.
  • Hired lighting engineer to design a supplemental lighting plan for the storage facility.

Phase 3: Re-shelving of Records and Lighting

  • March 2015 contract workers and Division staff re-shelved records in the new warehouse. The final boxes were placed on the shelves on March 16th, meaning that work was completed in 10 ½ days.
  • Lighting contractor is scheduled to install additional lighting.

Now that the hard part is done we will focus our attention on ensuring that all box locations in our box tracking database have been updated to reflect their new location.  This should take a minimal amount of time since we did a majority of the data entry in real time as the boxes were being placed on the shelves.

The State Records Center has resumed normal operations.  We are now servicing records requests for records stored in all three of our facilities, destroying records that have met retention requirements, and picking up records from agencies for storage at the State Records Center.  After almost 11 months it is nice to get back to routine operations.

Final Results:

We moved 37,116 cu. ft. of records on 696 pallets from the BSA to the Front Street facility.  We had a handful of boxes that were damaged in transport, but for the most part the boxes arrived in their new home in good condition.

In total we touched approximately 64,122 cu. ft. of records during this project.  As a result of all the planning and preparation work done in the first phase of the move, as well as the relocation and destruction of records stored at the BSA, the overall cost of the project was reduced. This project was a major undertaking requiring the commitment of all State Archives staff to complete.  All members of the Archives staff worked tireless to transition the records to the new storage facility.  The result is a fully operational storage facility.

Call Numbers for County Records at the State Archives

Carie Chesarino of the Records Description Unit (part of the Government Records Section) has written a post on our records management blog about how to search for county records by their call numbers in our online catalog, MARS.

The G.S. 132 Files

The County Records collection of the State Archives of North Carolina includes wills and estate files, tax scrolls, Superior Court judgment and minute dockets, and many more record series. In a previous blog post, I described one way to do a catalog search for archived county records. This post explains how to perform a call number search.

Begin at the State Archives’ public access catalog, MARS. If you have visited our catalog before, the page may default to the sort of search you last performed (Basic Search, Advanced Search, or Search by Call Number). Try selecting “Search by Call Number” in the blue box to the right of the screen:

select search by call number
For this example, select “Call Numbers starting” in the drop down box after “Search For:”

Call numbers starting

To retrieve search results for all the Alamance County records cataloged at the State Archives, enter CR.001. like in the image below and click “Search” :

Alamance Call Number search

Here are some…

View original post 141 more words

Everyone’s Favorite Time of Year: Inventory

[This blog post was written by Becky McGee-Lankford, head of the Government Records Section. ]

A row of fibredex boxes in the State Records Center. One of our standard records storage cartons equals 1 cubic foot and one of the archival fibredex or Hollinger boxes equals 0.4 cu. ft.

One of our standard records storage cartons equals 1 cubic foot and one of the archival fibredex or Hollinger boxes equals 0.4 cu. ft.

It’s that time of year again. Every January the staff of the State Archives of North Carolina devotes three days (January 13-15) to inventorying our various collections.  This year we confirmed the location of approximately 29,700 cu. ft. of state agency, local, and organizational records in three of our storage facilities. While this is not the entirety of our holdings, the records inventoried this year consisted of the most frequently referenced series by researchers in our Search Room.  In addition to verifying the locations of our collections, we also utilized staff resources to work on several additional projects, including barcoding records stored in the State Records Center, and processing two local record series.

Recently barcoded boxes in the State Records Center

Recently barcoded boxes in the State Records Center.

In the past year the State Records Center integrated barcoding into the process of storing inactive records for state agencies. We are currently barcoding records as the boxes are transferred by agencies to the records center for storage.  We have also been working towards barcoding all records currently stored in our various storage facilities to more efficiently  allocate available storage space.  During inventory staff barcoded approximately 16,086 cu. ft. of records stored on the second floor of the State Records Center which is a substantial accomplishment in comparison to the 13,079 cu. ft. completed in November and December.  It proves that when you concentrate your efforts you can accomplish great things.

Finally staff processed (flattened, foldered, and data entry) for 17 cu. ft. of Durham County Wills, 1881-1966.  Out of the 17 cu. ft. staff created 4,314 files (120 fibredex boxes).   This project needs additional work before being integrated into the Archives collection.  Once the processing of this series is complete, it will be available for researchers to access through the Search Room. In addition, staff continued data entry of the New Hanover County Estates, 1747-1939 adding 358 files (10 fibredex boxes) to the container list. Click here for completed county records container lists.  Follow our blogs for progress reports on these collections.

I hope this blog post has given you some insight into part of the routine operations of the State Archives of North Carolina as we work to ensure the continued accessibility of North Carolina’s permanently valuable records.

New Website for Archives and Records

As promised last week, the new website for the Division of Archives and Records launched today. This means that the websites for the State Archives of North Carolina, Government Records Section/State Records Center, Outer Banks History Center, and Western Regional Archives are now all available from the same address: http://www.ncdcr.gov/archives!

We’ve put redirects in place so that if you’re using one of our old web addresses your browser should be redirected to the new URL. However that will likely not last forever, so you may want to update your bookmarks now.

There are a lot of things that are different about the new website, but I’ll try to hit on a few of the highlights:

The website is divided into four sections.

The first three (For the Public, For Government, and For Educators) are the most obvious because they are represented by tabs at the top of the site.  The fourth section is dedicated Division of Archives and Records information and includes materials that may be of interest to anyone who visits the website. Each section is color-coded to help you know at a glance where you in the site: green in “For the Public,” yellow in “For Government,” orange in “For Educators,” and blue in the Division of Archives and Records section.  If you need to return to the homepage, click on the State Archives of North Carolina logo at the upper left portion of the page.

For the Public

The “For the Public” section includes information about the State Archives of North Carolina, Outer Banks History Center (OBHC), and Western Regional Archives (WRA) – their services, collections, finding aids, and online resources.  There are also direct links to OBHC and WRA resources. Heavily used pages like our fees list and requesting information by mail are still available; our popular online projects page has been renamed “Digital Collections and Publications,” but there is still a list of projects by subject.

For Government

The “For Government” section includes information from the Government Records Section and Digital Services Section (formerly the Electronic Records Branch). Here you’ll find information on digital records (electronic records), public records laws and guidelines, the State Records Center, forms, records retention schedules, records management services and training, and imaging and microfilm services.

For Educators

The “For Educators” section includes resources for teachers, parents, students, or anyone else involved in education.  Currently you’ll find advice on how to use primary resources in class and links to resources like lesson plans, digital collections, and exhibits. This is the first time we’ve had a section of our website dedicated to education –  it’s something we’ve wanted to do for a while now, so there will likely be a lot of growth in this section over the next year.

Division of Archives and Records Information

These pages can be found in the grey navigation bar at the top of the website. They include basic information about the purpose and history of the division, contact information and staff lists, social media, general laws and guidelines, ways that you can get involved with the work of the division, and news and events. Each of our four locations also have a “Visit Us” page available from the grey navigation bar; the “Visit Us” pages include information about the site’s hours, location, contact information, visitation or researcher rules, parking and public transit links, and a map.

Looking for something you can’t find?

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, we have a series of Frequently Asked Questions pages available from the relevant sections of the website. There is also a search function and a site map (if you’d prefer a visual representation of the website). You can also call or email us with website questions and, as always, you can ask where something is via our social media including the comments of this blog.