In-house Services
Ein Mitarbeiter des Universitätsarchivs stellt einen Archivkarton in einem Magazinraum in das entsprechende Regalfach
Archivierung im Magazin des Universitätsarchivs

In-house Services of the University Archive

Apart from our archival work we offer various in-house services to members of Ruhr University Bochum (RUB). In order to guarantee the safekeeping of the historic records of RUB, all eligible members are both obliged and called upon by Archivgesetz NRW (Archive Law of North Rhine-Westphalia) to offer their individual files and other media for transfer to the University Archive as soon as their storage period has ended (cf. retention period). This concerns all departments of the university such as the administration, organizations, faculties, institutions, and professorships.

Conversely, this means for submitters: To prevent you from neither going down in a heap of old files, nor illegally dispose of or destroy them on your own, the University Archives is ready to assist you in the transfer process. We support you as an advisor prior to the transfer, by helping you select the files which are of archival value and, thus, are to be transferred to the University Archive, and finally help you organize the transport of the files to us. Please mind that after the files have been transferred to the University Archive the submitter always keeps the right of access to their transferred file whereas retention periods legally regulate access by third-party users of the archive.

Services in a nutshell:

Advice on File Management and Storage

We advise you on file management and storage.

After the respective administrative processes in your institution have ended in accordance with the valid rules of procedure, all related files must first be stored by you. There are different storage periods depending on the type of record. They are regulated in detail by the current directive Richtlinien der Kanzlerin und des Rektors über Aufbewahrung, Aussonderung, Archivierung und Vernichtung von Akten (2022, Directive on Safekeeping, Selection for Discarding, Archiving and Destruction of Files of the Chancellor and the Rector). Before and after the expiration of these periods, the following applies without exception: Before destroying files, or even the selection for discarding, contact must be made with the University Archive. Before further action is being taken by you, it must first be decided on – in consultation with you – about the respective storage periods, i.e. which documents are to be stored by you for how long, which records are to be submitted to the University Archive, and which can ultimately be destroyed. The final decision on destruction is made exclusively by the University Archive.

Furthermore, the following law applies here: Archivgesetz Nordrhein-Westfalen (Archive Law North Rhine-Westphalia)

Selection for Discarding and Transfer of Files

After the respective storage periods has expired, the University Archive decides on the eligibility of the files for either submission or destruction.


To prepare all further steps, a list of the files to be transferred must be made, which includes the following data of each file, resp. file folder:

  • the serial number of the file
  • a short title (e.g. the file folder’s spine label),
  • the duration (years of the oldest and the most recent document)
  • if applicable, your file number

On the one hand, this list is useful for sifting through the files and on the other hand, it can be used as the the basis for a transfer list for the University Archive. In any case, the University Archives will provide a transfer list, which contains our accession number and the (transfer) number of each unit, so that the whereabouts or destruction of the records may be traced at any time.

Depending on the amount of the files which are to be submitted, archive staff is able to collect the files from you in the case of smaller quantities. For larger amounts the submitter has to organize transport service themselves. We therefore recommend checking your files for eligibility for submission on a regular basis in order to prevent their accumulation. Transfer of smaller quantities can be offered expeditiously and without further ado by the University Archive.


After approval for destruction has been given by the University Archive, you may dispose of them properly. Keep in mind that files containing personal or confidential information must be disposed of in an appropriately secure manner. For further information regarding proper disposal and destruction, please refer to the RUB Office for Information Security's (Stabsstelle für Informationssicherheit) website.

For larger quantities of files to be destroyed, you will find further information, for example, about the delivery and collection of security containers (240 and 450 l) on the website of the Department for Disposal of the RUB Office of Workplace Safety and Environmental Protection (Sachgebiet Entsorgung der Stabsstelle Arbeitssicherheit und Umweltschutz).

Processing of Files in the University Archive

Transferred files are recorded, indexed and stored in a secure manner.

During the process of recording and indexing, the files are first given comprehensive and meaningful titles with references to interesting details. In the course of this work, the correspondingly detailed inventory (“Findbuch”) is created, of which the submitter receives a copy upon request. The inventory also lists the corresponding retention periods of the records, for example if they contain personal data. By default, all files have a retention period of at least 30 years (after the file was closed). Finally, conservational measurements are carried out, including the demetallization and repacking of the files in age-resistant archival folders, all while retaining the original internal order of the records.

Regardless of the retention periods, the documents are available to you as the submitter without restriction, if necessary they may also temporarily returned to you, if official requests make this necessary.

Inquiries and Education

You are welcome to use our in-house services and are invited as users of the University Archive itself as well. We are happy to provide you with information on the history of RUB, grant access to documents available for research in our reading room, and to conduct guided tours and seminars in the context of our archive – whether in connection with your work or other research interests.

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