Welcome to Records Management
Located in the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center, this office provides storage, preservation, retrieval and maintenance of business files from various campus offices. An additional aim of this service is to facilitate the scheduled destruction or retention of non-current and permanent non-archival University records in original or microfilmed form. Materials found in this area are available to researchers on a strictly limited and approval only basis.
What is a University Record?
University records consist of recorded information that is created or received by University employees in the course of performing official functions on behalf of the University.
- Meeting minutes and agendas.
- Official Univerisity contracts.
- Final committee reports.
- Files related to University litigation.
- Student academic documents (forms, correspondence, etc.) that are NOT part of the student's permanent academic record.
Examples of materials that do not need to be retained:
- Duplicate materials.
- Items published by other department.
- Blank forms.
Generally, the same sorts of principles for managing records apply whether they are in paper or electronic format. Whether or not you keep a file, and how long to keep it, depends on its value, subject, and function. But managing electronic records involves a few additional considerations.
- Establish a folder structure that allows you to easily locate and contextualize documents. It may make sense to align the structure with existing paper filing structures or with applicable retention schedules.
- Name files in a consistent way, always including the date and enough information to describe the content of the file, e.g.: "RMAG_minutes_2012-05-12.docx." Underscores or different capitalizations work well for distinguishing between words, but periods do not.
- For files that are to be retained longer than 5 years or so, file format obsolescence will become a problem. More sustainable file formats should be chosen accordingly. Contact the Archives for guidance.
- Email messages which document a transaction, the formulation or interpretation of a policy, the substantive business of your office or department, or the historical development of Lawrence programs are also records and should be retained in accordance with existing retention guidance. In general, we recommend that you retain record emails on the server and file them in appropriate folders in your inbox. Do not delete emails that may require longer retention to stay under your inbox space quota.
University Archives Records and Services Assistant
Archives & Special Collections Center, Walsh Library