4 Replies Latest reply on Jun 29, 2018 10:07 AM by Jason Andrew

    SF 135 or SF 258

    mwilliams Newbie

      Are individual items, within a folder listed on an SF135? How do I get access to that form?

        • Re: SF 135 or SF 258
          Rebecca Collier Navigator

          Dear Mr. Williams,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

           

          The contents of a Standard Form 135 only list items if the records consist of special media (video tapes, CDs, DVDs, maps, etc.). Depending on the time period, SF 135s for textual (paper) records only include folder titles. Earlier ones will only include the title of the series.

           

          We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

           

          2 of 2 people found this helpful
            • Re: SF 135 or SF 258
              mwilliams Newbie

              Do you know if there is any way to get an item level list of a folder? Is there a list in each folder? I am very new to using NARA, thanks for your help!

                • Re: SF 135 or SF 258
                  Rebecca Collier Navigator

                  Dear Mr. Williams,

                  Thank you for posting your follow-up request on History Hub!

                  A SF-135 is a “Records Transmittal and Receipt” used by a Federal Agency when the records are deposited in a Federal Records Center. In Item #6 of the form, agencies must include a detailed folder listing for each box or as an attachment if the records are scheduled for permanent retention. More information about the SF 135 is available at https://www.archives.gov/frc/forms/sf-135-intro. A listing of documents in a folder is considered item level description. Agencies are not required to provide information at the item level for textual records.

                  After a stated time period (usually 25-30 years), the permanent records are transferred to the legal custody of the National Archives. Copies of the SF 135 are transferred with the records. Until the records are processed, the SF 135 folder listing may be the only finding aid the Reference units have to use to assist a researcher.

                  We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

                  2 of 2 people found this helpful
              • Re: SF 135 or SF 258
                Jason Andrew Wayfarer

                In order to request further information about the contents of a given series or folder, you should email the unit within the National Archives that has custody of the records.  That email is provided within the National Archives Catalog description. 

                For example:



                Make sure you tell them as much information as you can about what it is that you are looking for.  They may be able to provide some general information about the types and quantity of documents and some of the topics addressed.  Depending on the number of documents in the folder and how big they are, they may be able to tell you if there is anything in the folder relevant to you inquiry.  However they aren't necessarily going to be able to do a line by line search of the entire folder or provide you with a complete document list, especially if there are quite a few documents.  They can also provide you options for ordering facsimiles of the documents (for a charge) or visiting the facility where the records are stored to view the records in person. 

                As for SF-135s, the level of detail that can be found in an SF-135 varies greatly from between time periods, agencies, and individual series.  I have found SF-135s that came with attached agency provided itemized lists for textual series however those are exceptionally rare and I would not expect one unless the Catalog description specifically tells you that there is an itemized finding aid available.  Some might list boxes, some folders, and some just general information about the series as a whole.  You can use the contact information included in the catalog to request a copy of the SF-135, however you should be aware that not all series have an SF-135.  Some never had one because the records were transferred directly to the National Archives and never spent any time at a Federal Records Center.  If a series had an SF-135 associated with it, it should have a Record Center Transfer Number listed in the National Archives Catalog description. 




                Some records were transferred to the National Archives however the SF-135 was not sent with them as part of the accessioning dossier (the SF-258) so the reference staff does not have ready access to the SF-135.  This happened a lot with records transferred from WNRC at Suitland to Archives II at College Park in FY 2000 and the next few years.