Services to government

Transfer of records (training)

How to transfer records to the National Archives

National Archives will not accept records for transfer and release to the public before training in procedures is provided to the relevant department, court office or scheduled body.

Failure to comply with National Archives’ procedures for the transfer of records can result in unnecessary work and other delays that might prove difficult and costly to remedy.

Before any preliminary work is carried out on records please contact Archives and Government Services, National Archives, Bishop Street, Dublin D08 DF85 (tel: 01-4072300, email: query@nationalarchives.ie).

Once relevant staff have undergone transfer training, the process of transferring records comprises the following steps:

Preparing Documentation
  • In order to begin the transfer process, it is necessary to identify eligible records.
  • Records eligible for transfer under the National Archives Act, 1986 must be 30 years or older.
  • The age of a record is determined by the date of the latest substantive entry in it, in accordance with National Archives Act, 1986, Regulations, 1988 4.
  • Assigned staff should begin by examining the records at series or sub-series level.
  • Evaluate the records to determine suitability for release.
  • Set aside any records to be retained or withheld in accordance with provisions set out in the National Archives Act, 1986 8(2) and 8(4).
  • Determine if the records identified for transfer are worthy of permanent preservation; do they relate to policy, decision making and strategies; do they reflect the functions and activities of the divisions?

Files must not be destroyed until permission has been granted and a Certificate for the Disposal of Departmental Records issued by the Director of the National Archives.

  • Contact Archives and Government Services in the National Archives to obtain a National Archives transfer number and information on the supply of acid-free archival boxes.
  • Records must be listed prior to transfer using the standard listing template supplied by the National Archives. This template is in Microsoft Excel format.
  • Records identified to be retained or withheld in the transferring body must be listed in a template supplied by the National Archives. Details of the document reference code, file title and covering dates must be included.
  • National Archives will not accept records for transfer and release to the public before training in procedures is provided to the relevant department, court office or scheduled body.
Release of Records to Public Inspection
  • Before a transfer can be accepted, a Certificate of Transfer and Release for Public Inspection must be completed on departmental headed paper and signed by the Certifying Officer.
  • A copy should be kept for your own records.
  • The original signed certificate should be attached to the schedule of records due to be released for public inspection.
  • A printed copy of the certificate and schedule should be placed in the first box of records to be transferred.
  • An electronic copy of the transfer schedule must also be provided to the National Archives.

A sample certificate to release records to public inspection is available in Appendix 3 of the National Archives Act, 1986, Regulations, 1988.

For further information relating to the destruction and retention of records, see Records Management Guidelines.

All enquiries should be directed to Archives and Government Services, National Archives, Bishop Street, Dublin D08 DF85 (tel: 01-4072300, email: query@nationalarchives.ie).

National Archives will not accept records for transfer and release to the public before training in procedures is provided to the relevant department, court office or scheduled body.