Records Management

Nancy Waxler, Professor of Sociology, 1968-1969 The Records Management (RM) program available through the Emmanuel College Archives  is designed to provide assistance and guidance to community members who are responsible for the management of information and records in their designated department. Although this webpage will be of most use to your department's records' liaison, it contains information that will be useful to anyone who creates and maintains records.

A Records Management (organization of documents from their creation to the end of their life cycle) program has the goal of creating a consistent approach for record storage to free up valuable office space and ensure the retention of valuable documents. The program provides a variety of services to College departments, including:

  • Consultation on department record keeping practices
  • Advice on storing and maintaining inactive records
  • Retention and disposition scheduling
  • Identify your office’s archival records and assist in transferring them to the College Archives.

Records management aims to help you and your department manage your information in a way that that best services your department's needs and the needs of the institution.

For more on records management and records retention schedules, visit the below institutions:

Identifying Records

Records: All forms of information, regadless of physical characteristics or format that are created, received, recorded, or legally filed in the course of College business. Records serve as evidence of the College’s organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, and other activities. Records also document College programs, serving as resources for future historical research. While records are easily recognizable in paper formats, most records are now created electronically, including e-mail, word-processing files, spreadsheets, databases, web pages, videos and a variety of other electronic formats. These electronic records are also important to organize and maintain.

Records Rentention Schedule: Policies designed to ensure that College records are retained for as long as they are needed for administrative, legal, fiscal, or research purposes, and that they are properly disposed of once their value to the office and to the University has passed. It also ensure historic documents are transferred to the Archives. Records Rentention Schedule enable offices to make informed decisions about their records.

Common types of records held by offices and departments across the College, include:

  • Accreditation Reports
  • Annual Reports
  • Blueprints
  • College Website
  • College Magazines and Newspapers
  • Committee Meeting Minutes
  • Departmental Memorandums
  • Financial Ledgers
  • Handbooks
  • Insurance Documentation
  • Legal Briefs
  • Photographs
  • Theses

Archives vs. Records Management

Archives: Materials created or received by a person, family, or organization, public or private, in the conduct of their affairs and preserved because of the enduring and historic value contained in the information. The documents reflect the functions and responsibilities of their creator or collector.

Records Management: The temporary storage of active documents based upon a retention scheduled that determines if records are to be deaccessioned or transferred to the archives because of their enduring and historic value. These documents, once they are of no longer use to the institution or its offices, are properly disposed of or transferred to the archives at the appropriate time.

Benefits of Records Management

Department Jurisdiction: Ensures that your department maintains control of its records through the guidance of the office's records' liaison that will allow for retrieval and access in a short period of time. When appropriate, access to low-use records can be limited to designated personnel.

Space Saving: Storage of low-use records in active office space is an inefficient proposition. As records inventories and staffing needs grow, there needs to be a balance between staffing and records maintenance space.

Improved Access: Inactive records stored in an office are often poorly organized and are located in inconvient locations. Records Management (RM) ensures that all records are organized and are located in the most convient locations of storage for an office. This saves research time and allows for an increase in productivity.

Disposition and Transfer of Records

Disposition: Most types of records can be destroyed when they have fulfilled their retention requirements as explained in the records retention schedule. However, records must not be destroyed if they pertain to any investigation, legal action or proceeding, litigation, audit, or program review in progress or if you know that one is about to be held, even if the records are past their required retention period. Records that have the retention plan of “contact Archives” and “transfer to Archives” also should not be destroyed.

Transfer to Archives: The Emmanuel College Archives has records of the College going back to its founding, including records from several offices. College records document the history of all aspects of Emmanuel and its mission. Every College office likely has some records that should be transferred to the College Archives for permanent preservation and future use. Records Management Services can help you identify your office’s archival records and assist in transferring them to the University Archives.

When transfer documents to the Archives for permanent retention, both physical and jurisdictional control of the records is given to the Archives. When transfer records to the Archives follow these practices:

  1. Consult your department's record schedule and/or the Archives Librarian to determine what materials should be sent to the Archives. Materials sent to the Archives that are determined to have no long-term archival value will be returned. 
  2. Materials sent to the Archives fall under the jurisdiction of the Archives.
  3. Conduct a Records Survey to identify and separate active records from archival materials. The College Archives does not have the capacity for records management. It stores records of historic value.
  4. Speak with the Archives Librarian about obtaining record storage boxes for your records.
  5. Remove all hanging file folders. If items are loose within a hanging file folder, place them in a regular office file folder.  Be sure to transfer the name of the file from the hanging file folder to the new file using pencil. Please print legibly.
  6. Fill boxes (from front to back) with files. It is important to maintain the order in which the files were created or used. Please do not over-pack the box.
  7. Label and number the boxes consecutively in pencil (e.g. [Name of Department], Date, Box 1 of 7). Do not use pen or apply labels to the boxes.
  8. Make a list of box contents/inventory that lists all files or items in each box (include dates whenever possible).
  9. Complete the Archival Records Transfer Form attach your inventory to the Records Transfer Form.
  10.  Insert the Archival Records Transfer Form and inventory in the first box, on top of the contents, under the lid; keep a copy for your records. Please do not tape box lids shut. Place a work order with facilities to arrange delivery to the College Archives, Room 202, 2nd floor of the Cardinal Cushing Library. Please do not leave archival materials outside in the hallway.
  11. Contact the College Archives in advance of delivery so we know the boxes are coming.
  12. Upon delivery, notification will be sent to originating office and a copy of the Archival Records Transfer Form will be returned with an accession number/call number for future reference.

 

Records Retention Schedules

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pdf Click Here to Download the Cardinal Cushing Library and Learning Commons Records Rentention Schedule

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q. What do I need to send to the University Archives?

A.Please review your record retention  schedule and the Archives Collection Policy. You can also contact us for a consultation.

Q. If I know what I want to send, can I just send it to the University Archives?

A. Before you send materials to us, make sure you've filled out and sent us the Records Transfer Form and gotten it approved.

Q. Where should I send materials for the University Archives?

A. Contact the Archives staff and let them know you intend to transfer boxes to the Archives. Facilities will pick up your boxes and transport them to the Archives.

Q. Can you provide storage space for records that we are not ready to transfer but still need to keep?

A. Unfortunately, we cannot.

Q. What if I need to look at records after I have transferred them to the College Archives?

A. You are always welcome to look at the records you have transferred to the Archives. Please contact us to schedule a time for you to view the documents.

Q. What do I do if I have records that were created by someone who does not work here anymore?

A. Those records are the responsibility of the office that created them. If you've inherited a lot of old records, talk with your supervisor about who in your office should take responsibility for reviewing the records to determine which ones, if any, need to be kept and transferred to the College Archives. Feel free to contact us as well; we’re happy to provide suggestions.

Q. I don't have time to look at and organize all of the records in my office. Can I just send them all to you?

A. This is not recommended. The volume of records produced by the College would overwhelm our staff, and some records are sensitive or confidential and should be retained or destroyed in the office where they were created. Every department on campus must be responsible for managing the records in their office according to state and federal guidelines. However, College Archives staff are available to visit your office, look through your records with you and talk about strategies for getting organized and managing the records in your office.

Q. In What format should I send inactive records of my department to the Archives?

A. The College Archives generally prefers original records instead of scanned copies. If you need to save space, we suggest spending the time you would have devoted to scanning on organizing and reviewing your records to figure out what you can discard or transfer to the College Archives. If you still want to go ahead with scanning, let us know. We cannot provide help with digitization at this time, but we can provide tips and suggestions on imaging standards, file formats and digital preservation.

Q. What if there is a legal hold on records that are scheduled to be discarded or sent to the College Archives?

A. Records that are subject to a litigation hold shall not be destroyed until the litigation hold is lifted by the College' Counsel. It’s probably best not to transfer them out of the originating office until the litigation hold is lifted.

Q. What do I do if I think the records schedule is incorrect or incomplete?

A. This happens occasionally. Sometimes new College, state or federal guidelines are introduced that conflict with the instructions in the records schedule. If you think the records schedule is incorrect or incomplete, please contact us to determine whether supplementation of your retention schedule is necessary.

Q. Who should I contact with questions?

A. Please contact us.