Wisconsin Historical Society

Guide or Instruction

Transfer Records to the State Archives with Exactly

Transfer Records to the State Archives with Exactly | Wisconsin Historical Society


  1. Introduction
  2. Set up Dropbox
  3. Set up Exactly
  4. Transfer Center
  5. Prepare your transfer
  6. Metadata
  7. Transfer
  8. Resources


The State Archives is implementing a new process for state agencies to transfer their electronic records to the archives, using a software application called Exactly. We care about the safety and integrity of your records, and we want to ensure that your digital materials remain intact during the transfer process. Exactly helps you package electronic records into BagIt “bags,” which are a digital preservation standard for transferring data. Exactly will then help you transfer your “bags” to the State Archives via a shared Dropbox folder. This new transfer process is not only more secure, but it will also save time and energy for both state agencies and the State Archives.

This document steps you through the process of setting up Exactly on your computer and using it to “bag” and transfer your records.

Exactly Transfer Process

Set up Dropbox

  1. Once you receive a Dropbox account, or using your pre-existing Dropbox account, install Dropbox to your desktop.

  2. You will receive an email invitation from State Archives staff to edit a shared Dropbox folder. Click Go to folder.

  3. Sign in with the Dropbox account. In the dialog box that appears, click Add to Dropbox.

  4. The folder will automatically be added to your Dropbox folder on your desktop.

Set up Exactly

  1. Download the appropriate version of Exactly here: https://www.avpreserve.com/tools/exactly/. If you need additional assistance, you can find the official Exactly User Guide here, with download and installation instructions. You may need to contact your IT department to install Exactly for you.

  2. Download the State Archives transfer template from the shared Dropbox folder. This is an XML file that will configure the transfer settings in Exactly and pre-populate Exactly with information specific to your agency. Save the template in a place where you can access it again if you need to.

  3. Enlargeinstall exactly package

    Figure 1

    Exactly Windows Executable file

    Install and open Exactly: For Windows users, open the Exactly zip package. Inside the main folder, go to dist \ bundles and find the Exactly Windows Executable (.exe) file (fig. 1). Copy and paste this file somewhere you can find it in the future. You might even want to pin it to your task bar when you open it.

    Double click the file to open the application. Your computer may ask you if you are sure you want to run this file – you can agree to this.

    Every time you open the file, your computer may ask you if you are sure you want to install Exactly. You can agree to this – it just means that it is going to temporarily install the files that it needs to run the program on your computer.

  4. Enlargeimport exactly template

    Figure 2

    Import Exactly template

    Import the State Archives transfer template into Exactly: In the toolbar, select Exactly > Import (fig. 2).

    Select the State Archives transfer template.

    The log window on the right shows you what you have successfully/unsuccessfully done. After you import the State Archives transfer template, the log should tell you that the XML has successfully imported. You may clear this at any time by clicking clear log. The window below will tell you what your current template is.

    Enlargeemail notifications

    Figure 3

    Set email notifications

  5. Enlargeemail notifications settings

    Figure 4

    Email notification settings

    Set up email notifications (this is who will get notifications about transfers): In the toolbar, select Preferences > Email Notifications (fig. 3)

    The State Archives email address, govarc@wisconsinhistory.org should already be preloaded here by the State Archives transfer template. If you would like anyone else to receive email notifications about electronic records transfers, click “+” or “-” to add or delete email addresses. It is recommended that, at minimum, you also include your agency records officer in any records transfer notifications. Click Save (fig. 4).

  6. Set up your email settings (this allows Exactly to send notification emails on your behalf): In the toolbar, select Admin > Email Settings

    Enter the following settings:

    • Mail Server: outlook.office365.com
    • User Name: your state employee email
    • Password: your state employee email password
    • Port: 587
    • Check the Enable email notifications box
    • Check the TLS Protocols box
    • Click Check and Save
    • When the log window reports that email settings have been saved successfully, click Close

    If you have entered the information correctly, the log window should say that email settings have been saved successfully.

    Exactly will now send email notifications on your behalf whenever you submit a transfer. You will also receive email notifications.

Transfer Center

The Transfer Center in Exactly (the default view) has two tabs: Deliver and Receive. The Deliver tab is used by agencies to transfer records to the State Archives. The Receive tab is used by the State Archives to accept transfers (fig. 5).

transfer center

Figure 5

Exactly Transfer Center

Prepare your transfer

In this step, you will prepare your package (the records) for transfer to the State Archives.  A package can be made up of multiple files and folders which are then bundled together with Exactly and sent to the State Archives. A package can be no larger than 200GB total. If you need to transfer a larger group of records, consider splitting them up and transferring multiple packages to the State Archives.

Creating a package involves giving your package a name, choosing the files and/or folders that you want to include in the package, and selecting the place where you want your transfer to go.

Open the Deliver tab and fill out the following fields:

  1. EnlargeTitle field

    Figure 6

    Transfer title


    (The title of the package to be transferred)

    Enter the Transfer ID provided to you by the State Archives (fig. 6).

    The Transfer ID format is date_agencycode_transfernumber. Date should be yyyymmdd with no dashes or slashes. If transferring more than one package on a single day, indicate the number of this transfer (e.g. 20170928_245_2 is the second package transferred by the agency with the code 245 on September 28, 2017).

    Use only underscores (no special characters, no spaces) in the Title.

  2. Enlargetransfer source

    Figure 7

    Transfer source


    (The location of the record(s) that you want to transfer)

    Click the Browse button to the right of the Source field.

    Locate and select the folders that you want to transfer.

    If you would like to select multiple folders, you can add them by clicking “+” in the Deliver tab (fig. 7).

    ***Remember to include the completed Electronic Records Transfer Agreement in the transfer.

  3. Enlargezip files

    Figure 8

    Zip files

    Zip files

    (Zipping files makes the transfer more secure)

    Check the Zip files? box. Do not check the other boxes in this row (fig. 8).

  4. Enlargetransfer destination

    Figure 9

    Transfer destination


    (Where you want your records to go)

    Use the “Browse” button to find the shared Dropbox folder provided by the State Archives (fig. 9).


EnlargeExactly metadata fields

Figure 10

Exactly metadata fields

Metadata is “data about data” – it is information that describes content. Metadata will help State Archives staff understand the content of your files and the context of their creation. This will help State Archives staff process your records and make them publicly accessible.

In Exactly, each metadata item has a Label and a Value. The label field will contain a title for that metadata item. The value is filled in by the agency, or is pre-loaded by the template with information for each agency. Do not change the label names or delete metadata items with the “-” button. The information sent in these fields will be used by State Archives when importing your data into the digital repository.

Required fields

The table below lists the standard metadata fields provided in the State Archives transfer template. Metadata needs to be supplied for each package. All fields are required.

You will need to enter the information in the white fields into Exactly.

The grey fields are pre-loaded in the template and should not need to be edited by the agency.



Transfer ID

The transfer ID assigned by the State Archives (this is the same as the Title entered above). Format: date_agencycode_transfernumber. Date should be yyyymmdd with no dashes or slashes. If transferring more than one package on a single day, indicate the number of this transfer.

Agency code

Numerical agency code (pre-loaded)

Agency name

State agency name (pre-loaded)

Contact name

Name of records officer/individual completing transfer (pre-loaded)

Contact phone

Phone number of records officer/individual completing transfer (pre-loaded)

Contact email

Email address of records officer/individual completing transfer (pre-loaded)


Brief narrative description of the contents of the transfer, including:

- Which division/bureau/office created them

- Records schedule(s) associated with these files

- Any helpful information about the events/programs/processes represented in the files

Date range

Date range of the contents of the transfer


Brief description of how the files are arranged, i.e.

- Organizational scheme (alphabetical, chronological)

- Folder structure

- Folder naming

- Relationships between files/folders

Document types

List the document types included in the transfer, e.g.

- Reports

- Images

- Presentations

- Emails

- Databases

- Budget spreadsheets


Is an inventory spreadsheet/document included in the transfer (Yes/No)? How is it identified (e.g. filename of spreadsheet)?

Transfer method

Exactly (pre-loaded)

Fill in metadata fields
  1. EnlargeShow metadata fields

    Figure 11

    Show metadata fields

    EnlargeSave metadata

    Figure 12

    Save metadata

    If metadata fields are hidden, click show (fig. 11).

  2. Fill in all value fields with your agency/package information. See the table above for guidance on completing these fields.

  3. Make sure that pre-loaded value fields for your agency have been entered correctly (such as Agency Code and Agency Name)

  4. Click Save to save your metadata (fig. 12). The log window should tell you that the metadata has been saved successfully


  1. EnlargeTransfer log

    Figure 13

    Log window confirming transfer

    Once you have completed all required fields, click Transfer in the upper right hand corner. The log window will tell you whether or not your transfer has completed successfully (fig. 13).

    Depending on the size of the files, this could take several minutes. Large transfers (>20GB) may take over an hour. You can use your computer as you usually do while waiting for the transfer to complete, but do not change any of the files being transferred or open the bag being created in the shared Dropbox folder.

  2. You will receive an email with the subject Exactly Digital Transfer, confirming your completed transfer.


Exactly software download and user guides: https://www.avpreserve.com/products/exactly/

The NHPRC logo.This guidance document was produced with support from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC). Learn more about the Wisconsin Historical Society's NHPRC Electronic Records grant.