Records Procedures

(Procedures for county departments only)

Transferring Records to the Records Center

1) Identification

  • Before beginning to box records, each office must make a determination of what records it will consider active. These are materials that are required for use by the office on a day-to-day basis. These records need to remain with the office and not be transferred to the Records Center.
  • Before beginning to box records, each office should contact the Records Center and review what is considered semi- or non-active. With the Center continually growing, space will be a limited commodity, as is the number of people available for a records request: therefore, the Center rarely accepts current or active records. The Records Center will, however, accept current records to be scanned.
  • Before beginning to box records, determine that the records requiring storage or processing have been scheduled on the office's Schedule of Records Retention and Disposition Form (Form RC-2) (XLS). Any questions regarding the Form RC-2 should be directed to the Records Center Supervisor.

2) Boxing of Records

  • The Records Center has purchased a "standard" storage box for the records it stores. No other boxes will be accepted for safety and storage space reasons. Offices with records that do not lend themselves to a standard cubic foot box, i.e., commercial plans, engineer drawings, etc. should contact the Center prior to boxing. However, the Records Center will accept files in any box if they are to be destroyed within the next 6 months.
  • Storage boxes may be picked up from the Records Center between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm, Monday through Friday. The Center staff will not deliver boxes.

Boxes should be packed as follows:

  • Place only 1 type of series of records in each box. Every effort should be made to locate and pack all records in a particular series prior to the transfer to the Center. This will ensure timely retrieval when a record needs to be pulled. The Records Center will not accept any boxes marked "Miscellaneous."
  • A completed Records Transfer/Intake Form (XLS), listing either the beginning and ending of a record series, or each file folder, needs to be filled out for each box. Please place these Transfer/Intake Forms in an envelope and give the envelope to the Center's staff upon arrival with the boxes. No un-inventoried boxes will be accepted by the Center. The information recorded on the inventoried boxes will be the information the Center uses to track materials. Be specific, and let the Center determine exactly how the data will be used for retrieval.
  • Boxes should not be packed too tightly. Due to the way the boxes are stored and retrieved, no box over 40 pounds can be accepted. Taped boxes will not be accepted. No loose papers will be accepted. All records need to be properly boxed for storage and processing.

Please note: The Lorain County Records Center is considered an extension of the originating office for storage, retrieval and processing purposes only. The Center's staff will not do additional filing, record amendment or purging for any reason.

3) Transferring Records

  • Contact the Records Center when all records are packed and ready for transfer. Each office is responsible for transferring their materials to the Center. If using the County Maintenance Department to transfer the records, please call the Center prior to phoning in your work order so we know your boxes are being delivered.
  • All records transferred must be listed on the offices' Form RC-2, to ensure proper management and timely destruction
  • If any records transferred to the Center classify as confidential, the office must identify them as such, and provide a list of persons authorized to access these records. If a name is not on the list, no records will be released.

Removing A Record

  • Original records may not be removed from the Center without the specific authorization of the originating office. Prior to releasing a record, the requester must sign as the party responsible for that record until it's returned.
  • The public may not remove any record from the Center for any reason.

Request For Records by Departments

  • To request a record that is stored at the Center: Email or simply call the Center with your request. The staff will call back when the requested items are pulled for further instructions (interoffice, fax, mail and/or pickup.)

To repeat, The Lorain County Records Center is considered an extension of the office of origin for storage, retrieval and processing purposes only. For this reason, the Center's staff will perform no docketing, additional filing or annotation. Neither will the staff answer any questions concerning the legal meaning of records stored at the Center.

Document Processing

The Lorain County Records Center can do various micrographic projects to ensure archival capture, and to save badly needed space. Not only will we perform micrographic work, but also emphasize computer indexing, source document imaging and digital warehousing. The Center will not lose its focus when it comes to providing a quality archival product, which can stand up to not only time, but the legal parameter defined by the Revised Code.

Computer Indexing

To speed retrieval and to ensure legal compliance with the requirements to have easily accessible records, the Center maintains an extensive database of those records stored within the facility. The Center is looking to upgrade this system to allow for greater access by individual departments. The same system can be applied to those offices, which are interested in developing computerized databases for the variety of records they have housed as "active."

Micrographic: Source Document Microfilming

The Lorain County Records Center is a fully functional micrographic facility capable of handling just about any paper files, index cards, etc. The process, because of its personnel-intensive nature, is usually reserved for records that are required to be maintained for a lengthy period of time. All film produced by the Center will meet all archival standards and can be used as per the ORC 9.01 as a legally acceptable replacement for a paper original.

Digital Imaging

Imaging source documents is the best way to ensure timely retrieval, but is rarely considered a legally acceptable medium in the State of Ohio. For this reason, any office reviewing imaging technology should contact the Center to ensure all archival requirements are met prior to any purchase. Since few vendors acknowledge the need for archival backup, maintaining an eye-readable medium is not the law in all states: it is a service, which must be negotiated into base costs of purchase.

Disposal Procedures

The mission of the Lorain County Records Center is to provide economical storage, retrieval, protection, processing and disposal for inactive and semi-active records produced as part of doing business with and for Lorain County. However, it is this last component of the Center, which will allow for the long-term and permanent retention of only those records specified by law or historic importance. Those records lacking either justification will be destroyed following the guidelines provided by the Ohio Historical Society, the State Auditor and the County Records Commission.

  • Offices will be notified by the Records Commission Secretary of an upcoming Records Commission meeting. At least 1 to 2 weeks prior to the meeting, all Applications for One-Time Disposal of Obsolete Records Forms (Form RC-1) (XLS) must be filed with the Secretary. Those offices whose RC-2 Forms are on file at the Records Center will be notified when their records housed at the Center have become eligible for destruction. The department will then be required to submit a Certificate of Records Disposal Form (Form RC-3) (XLS) to legally dispose of their records. If requested by the department head, the Records Center Supervisor may submit the form on their behalf.
  • The Records Commission will review all forms submitted at its scheduled meeting. The Records Commission normally meets 2 times per year to consider Applications for Destruction and Schedules of Retention.
  • The Records Commission Secretary will submit all approved forms to the Ohio Historical Society and the State Auditor for their approval.
  • Upon approval from the State, copies of the signed schedules will be returned to the originating office. Records qualifying for destruction will then be managed in the following manner: Records listed on the schedules as ready for destruction should be physically separated from other records. It is the responsibility of each office to be aware of pending litigation, which could be affected by the destruction of any specific record. Records that are part of active or pending litigation may not be destroyed even if their scheduled destruction period has been reached. Each office must prepare a Certificate of Records Disposal Form (Form RC-3) listing all of the records intended for destruction, the Schedule Number, Media Type, Inclusive Date of the Record and the Proposed Date of Disposal. This form must be submitted to the Secretary of the Records Commission or the Records Center Supervisor at least 4 weeks prior to the listed proposed destruction date. Records stored at the Center, which are eligible for destruction, will be destroyed twice a year. (Note: No records stored will be destroyed without the knowledge and consent of the originating office.)
  • Records transferred onto microfilm may be legally destroyed provided an RC-2 form has been filed and approved stating that the originals have been microfilmed.