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Physical archiving

To archive means to systematically care for, preserve and organise the University’s public documents so that they are searchable and accessible to us internally as well as to the public. This page is about physical archiving and here you can read more about the requirements for premises and materials, as well as how to organise and pack documents.


Read more about electronic archiving.


Archive premises and protection requirements

Physically archived documents should be stored in premises that fulfil the Swedish National Archives’ requirements for security (RA-FS 2013:4). Premises where documents are stored should offer protection from fire, humidity, pests and unauthorised entry. Archive premises should not have windows or operate as bomb shelters, safe rooms or evacuation routes. Archive premises should only be used for storing archived documents. Only a limited number of premises within Lund University meet these requirements. One alternative for the storage of small amounts of documents is to place them in lockable fireproof filing cabinets.

All documents no longer in active use should then be transferred to the University Archives’ storage facility at Arkivcentrum Syd. This facility meets the Swedish National Archives’ requirements. Storage at Arkivcentrum Syd is free, as is the retrieval of requested documents, a service carried about by the archive’s staff. Transport to Arkivcentrum Syd is paid for by the delivering organisation.

Read about deliveries to the University Archives.

Special requirements for the storage of photographs and negatives

Photos and negatives are not to be exposed to sunlight for longer than necessary. Archive premises for photographs should be equipped with an air-conditioning system that provides a relative humidity of 30% and a temperature below +18 C. Alternatively, they can be stored in a room with as constant a climate as possible, with as low a temperature and humidity as possible.

Choosing the right office materials

  • Paper, writing materials, binders and the like must meet the Swedish National Archives’ requirements for being durable or of archive quality (the latter are marked with the standard “Svenskt arkiv”). The same requirements apply to the archive boxes and file covers for the long-term storage of paper documents.
  • Use uncoloured/white paper when printing documents.
  • Use paper (not plastic) sleeves in binders.
  • Documents that are being archived should be printed on one side only.
  • Use only approved ballpoint pens (avoid promotional pens of unknown quality).
  • Ribbons and cartridges for printers/copiers should be from proven brands.

Lund University has a framework agreement for office supplies. This agreement should guarantee in practice that we use the right materials.

For externally created documents received by the public authority from, for example, private individuals, there is no practical way to impose the same requirements on the choice of office materials.

Organisation and packing

Sort first

Before placing the document in a file cover in an archive box, you need to sort through the documents. Items to be removed before storage include:

  • Duplicates and copies (if you cannot find the original, keep a copy).
  • Plastic and metal – such as plastic sleeves, paper clips, rubber bands, Post-it notes and other non-paper materials. One exception is staples, which can be left as they show which documents belong together.  
  • If information on a Post-it note is to be saved, it should be copied to A4 paper.

Organisation and packing

It is important that documents follow a logical order. As a rule, documents should be sorted according to document type and then chronologically (oldest first). Within each year, they should be sorted in an appropriate internal order (date, serial number, registration number, course designation, name, personal number or similar).
After the documents have been sorted logically, place the entire contents inside a file cover. The file cover is there to protect the documents against dust, light, moisture, abrasion, air pollution and anything else that might damage them. The file cover can also be used to separate bundles of documents that belong together in terms of content (e.g. a case file or a course dossier). Write in pencil on the file cover which documents are contained inside, or if applicable, the serial number/case number, and the year(s) the documents were created (e.g. “Department Board minutes with annexes 2013”).

Thereafter the organised documents should be placed in an archive box. An archive box is a cardboard or paperboard box approved for the long-term storage of documents. If necessary, it is possible to arrange documents from the same year in several archive boxes or, if there are few documents, to have several years or several types of documents in the same archive box.

Do not pack the archive boxes too full or too empty, as the former destroys the boxes and the latter destroys the documents. A general rule is that an archive box should contain as little air as possible and yet the lid should never bulge. In order to pack tightly with as little air as possible in the archive box, you can place bundles of documents alternating upside down and right way up on top of each other, if necessary. This way, you can avoid a pile of staples in one corner of the box. Write in pencil on the bottom/short side of the archive box which documents are contained inside and which year(s) they are from. Write in plain text and avoid internal abbreviations.

Once the archive boxes are packed, an archivist, or a person with knowledge of archiving, should draw up an archive inventory. Contact the University Archives at universitetsarkivet [at] legal [dot] lu [dot] se if you are unsure what an archive inventory should contain.

Once the documents have been sorted, packed and an inventory taken, they are ready to be delivered to the University Archives.

Read about deliveries to the University Archives.

Organisation and packing of photographs and negatives

The same principles for filing that apply to paper documents apply to photographs and negatives. Photographs and negatives should be sorted according to a suitable internal logic (for example thematically, chronologically, by title etc.).
Place the photographs in an archive-quality envelope made from paper or separated by approved file covers, before storing them in archive boxes. Negative strips should be stored in special polystyrene/polyethylene negative sleeves or in envelopes made of archive-quality paper, either standing in archive cabinets or in archive boxes.



University Archives
universitetsarkivet [at] legal [dot] lu [dot] se
+46 46 222 16 70
Monday–Friday 09.00-11.30

Mailing address
Lund University
Records Management and Archives
Box 117
221 00 Lund

Internal mailing code: 62

Visiting address
Porfyrvägen 20
224 78 Lund