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Transfer Of Electronic Records To The National Archives For Permanent Storage


  1. It is the responsibility of the departments to transfer all inactive electronic records and data to the National Archives.

  2. Electronic records intended for transfer to the National Archives must be authentic and complete. .

  3. The National Archives of Malaysia is responsible for ensuring that all electronic records and data are stored and preserved in the best possible way especially technically as when they are transferred.

Transfer Format

  • Electronic records and data to be transferred to the National Archives should be kept in a simple and cost effective format which is not constrained by any one computer system (software or hardware).
  • The National Archives requires that all departments transferring their electronic records for permanent storage must ensure that records are in open format and are platform independent because records in de facto or uncommon hardware/ software format will complicate the process of conversion and migration later.
  • Presently the National Archives receives electronic records and data in the following formats:



Unstructured texts

 Plain American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII), Unicode

Structured Texts

Extensible Markup Language (XML), Standardized General Markup Language (SGML).

Compound Documents

Portable Document Format (PDF)

Bipmapped Images

Tagged Image File Format (TIFF, Version 6 and above), Photo CD Format (PCD), Joint Photographic Experts Group Format (JPEG, lossless compression)

All database files in ASCII and data files kept in the National Archives should be transferred in flat files first and excess security features disposed of except for record length indicators for variable length records, marks delimiting a data element, field, record file, or SGML tags.

All database records must be kept in the same logic format and every data element in each record must be of one value only. Relational database which requires links to reference files must contain primary keys to enable linking between records in different files.

All information and additional description relating to the records must be removed from the department's database management system and kept together with the flat files in a structured form so that it is a complete and comprehensible record.

Text files in Microsoft Word, Word Perfect or plain text ASCII format which have reference to other files must contain footnotes which can be easily understood. Encrypted records must be decrypted and decompressed before they are transferred to the National Archives unless they have been approved by the National Archives. Classified records need to be declassified before being transferred to the National Archives for permanent storage.

Storage Media for Electronic Records

The department can choose to store and transfer electronic records to the National Archives in any one of the following storage media:

  • Magnetic tape
  • b. 4 mm DAT tape
  • 3.5" 1.44 MB diskette
  • ISO 9660 standard-compliant CD-ROM

For electronic mail, the department must adhere to the E-mail Operational Procedure Guidelines for government departments and MyMIS (Malaysian Public Sector Management of Information & Communications Technology Security Handbook) prepared by MAMPU. E-mail with archival value must be transferred to the National Archives according to the format and storage media specifications stated above.

If the department has an electronic format and storage media different from those stated above, it must first inform the National Archives.


Before electronic records or data are transferred to the National Archives, the department must provide comprehensive metadata of the records or data. This is important to enable researchers to interpret and manipulate the electronic records or data in the future.

Metadata in the department's electronic record management must be transferred to the National Archives together with the electronic record or data in a separate file according to the same format specifications as the electronic record.

In cases of electronic records which are included in the Record Disposal Schedule and need to be transferred to the National Archives but could not owing to administrative requirements, the department concerned has to do the following:

  • Ensure that storage space for the electronic records such as magnetic tapes, compact discs and cassettes are kept at a temperature of 18 Degree Celcius and relative humidity (RH) of 45%.
  • Carry out random checks on all storage media to ensure that there is no loss of data, and if there is, to determine the cause. Normally the storage media need to be renewed from time to time to prevent degradation.
  • Plan thoroughly for data migration and transition before the hardware and software become obsolete.

Ensure that all system metadata and documentation for the records, either in paper or electronic files, are properly kept and preserved.

Record Management

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