Should I attach an inventory of the materials my department is sending to the Archives?

Absolutely! Since you are working directly with the materials that you are packing, it’s easy to forget that not everyone can easily figure out what they are, and therefore think that there’s no need to prepare an inventory. It’s obviously correspondence from 1990 to 1991, right? Who needs a list? Unfortunately, the materials often aren’t as easy to identify as you might think, and a lack of an inventory can lead to archivists and researchers misinterpreting and misidentifying your files. This problem is easily prevented by preparing a list by individual folder title (or notebook title, etc.) or groups for each box. The list will be used for retrieving records in the future. Your office should keep a copy and email a copy to Medical Center Archives at time of transfer. Additional information about preparing your department’s records for transfer to the Archives is located at http://archives.mc.duke.edu/transfers. Do you have a question for “Ask the Archivist!”? Submit your question to dawne.lucas@duke.edu.