Offsite Records Storage

Need to retain University records? Learn how to set up an account with Records Management Services and work with the Archives to arrange for storage at the Harvard Depository.

Winter recess update: Retrieval requests for Records Management items must be submitted by 2:00 pm on Thursday, December 16, 2021, for delivery by Friday, December 17, 2021. All other requests and those submitted after this time will be delivered starting on January 3, 2022 as normal deliveries resume.

Getting Started

If you need a place to store University records you're required to retain, we can help.

The Records Management Services team at the Harvard University Archives can arrange for storage of your University records at the Harvard Depository.

The first step to getting your records moved to the Harvard Depository is to request an account with Records Management Services. To apply for an account, complete the records center contract (PDF) and email it to

Once the office account is created, those who have been designated as authorized users will be able to use the account.

Contact to update the users when needed.

Identifying Records for Deposit

You can identify records eligible for storage using the General Records Schedule (GRS).

The GRS covers common records found throughout the University. Most entries in the GRS direct you to retain records for a specific number of years, after which they can be destroyed.

If this is your first time using the GRS or if you would like a refresher, visit our Records Schedule Basics page.

Preparing Records for Deposit

1. Ordering Boxes and Barcodes

To order boxes and barcodes, email

Box orders are linked to your office's Records Center account. If you don't already have an account, see "Getting Started" for details on applying for your account.

2. Pack, Label and Barcode Your Boxes

Records that are stored offsite must be properly packed, barcoded and labeled in order to be transported to the Harvard Depository.

This document (PDF) provides guidance on packing boxes and creating label templates.

3. Complete Paperwork

You must create an inventory of the materials you're transferring offsite as well as get an authorization form signed by the head of your department.

4. Request Review and Pick Up

Email the completed authorization form and inventory workbook to

Records Management Services staff will review your documents and arrange a pick up to take place within three business days.

Accessing Your Offsite Records

To retrieve records to your office by next-day delivery, and to return records to the Harvard Depository, contact by 3:00 pm.

To place a retrieval/return order, please provide:

  • Full barcodes of the requested boxes
  • Delivery or pick up location if different from the information submitted for your account’s authorized user information.
  • An alternate contact, if needed