What is a consignment?
A consignment is one transfer into one series. A consignment may comprise the whole or only part of a series. Consignments are numbered sequentially starting from 1.
What records can be included in a consignment?
The records must be from the same series and have the same public access determination. For efficient processing of transfers, agencies are encouraged to identify all records in a series ready for transfer across the agency and prepare a single consignment for each public access determination. Agencies seeking to transfer multiple small consignments for the same series may find their request to transfer is delayed or may be asked to consolidate the transfer into a single, larger consignment.
What is a consignment list?
A consignment list is a list of items contained in each consignment of a series.
Consignment lists provide details about the items contained in each unit, including control symbols, titles and descriptions, date ranges, and disposal schedule references.
Why are consignment lists required?
Consignment lists are the primary record of your transfer and as such, an accurate consignment list is a means for agencies to meet legal, evidential and accountability requirements. A consignment list informs State Records about the records that are being transferred into State Records’ custody, which enables timely and efficient retrieval of items for agency loan or public access.
Information about the records is loaded into the archival database through the consignment list spreadsheet. The consignment list spreadsheet is the means by which your agency tells State Records what records are being transferred. Completing a consignment list spreadsheet is essentially entering data about your agency’s records into the archival database. For this reason, the items entered into a consignment list spreadsheet must match the contents of the boxes and all items must be individually listed.
How to transfer a consignment
When a consignment list spreadsheet is submitted, it is checked by an Archivist to ensure that it meets listing requirements. If a spreadsheet does not meet listing requirements, you may be required to amend and re-submit it. A consignment will not be approved for transfer until the consignment list spreadsheet meets listing requirements.
Listing requirements include:
- items must be listed in order
- columns must not be added, deleted, or their order changed
- mandatory columns must be complete
- specific qualifiers must be used in some columns - a list of qualifiers are included in the instructions in the Row 2 cell comments of the relevant columns
- a specific date format must be used in some columns - further information about date format is included in the Row 2 cell comments of the relevant columns
- file titles and other text must be written using sentence case, not upper case
These listing requirements must be followed regardless of the formatting used in an agency control system.
Notes about completing the consignment list
The consignment list spreadsheet contains three tabs. The first tab provides some basic instructions for completing the spreadsheet, the second tab is a cover sheet (summary) document, and the third tab is the template spreadsheet into which you enter details about the records. Both the cover sheet and template tabs must be completed before submitting a consignment list spreadsheet.
Please do not rename the Template tab.
The template spreadsheet is divided into two sections:
- one for recording item (file) information, denoted by navy blue cells in Row 1 (see columns Q – AB) and
- one for recording unit (box) information, denoted by purple cells in Row 1 (see columns A – R).
The Unit half of the spreadsheet should summarise the detail entered in the Item half of the spreadsheet, which should be entered first.
Some columns are mandatory. These columns have a yellow background in the row heading (see Row 2). The Row 2 cell comments will also indicate whether the field is mandatory, or, if the column is conditional, in what circumstances the column should be completed.
It is essential that columns are not added, deleted, or their order changed. To assist you to enter data into the spreadsheet you may hide columns, widen and reduce the width of columns, and freeze panes. Ensure that columns have been unhidden and panes unfrozen before the consignment list spreadsheet is submitted to the Archive team.
Specific instructions about how to complete the columns in the template spreadsheet are included in the Row 2 cell comments on the Template tab. To see these instructions, hover your cursor over the Row 2 cell of the relevant column and a pop-up box containing instructions will display.
The consignment list spreadsheet is loaded directly into State Records’ archival database and the columns in the spreadsheet populate specific fields in the database. Some columns must be completed using particular formats and qualifiers before the archival database will accept the spreadsheet.
A specific date format is required for date columns (columns F, H, N, W, and Y), i.e. dd/mm/yyyy. Dates must be entered in this format. If only an approximate date is known, the dd/mm/yyyy format must still be used. The only exception is when no date is determinable from the record, in which case, the accompanying qualifier column should contain the qualifier N.D and the cell may be left blank.
Certain columns require specific qualifiers (columns E, G, I, J, K, M, O, V, X, and AA). A key to the qualifiers relevant to a particular column can be found in the Row 2 cell comments. One of the specified qualifiers must be used.
If you are unsure how to complete the consignment list spreadsheet or would like some feedback on how the spreadsheet has been completed so far, contact the Archives team. If you submit a draft spreadsheet for feedback, list the first couple of boxes in the consignment and make it clear that the spreadsheet is only a draft for feedback.