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Guidelines for Managing Records

Guidelines

Since UK records must be managed in accordance with the Model Schedule, it makes sense to set up record keeping systems with this in mind. This will ease the tasks of weeding files and transferring files to the archives on a regular basis.

  1. Be familiar with your office's records and the procedural manuals which guide their creation and use.
  2. It may be helpful to survey your office's records. That is, make a list of the record types (series) your office creates or maintains.
  3. With the survey in hand, go to the Model Schedule and determine the appropriate retention and disposition for each record series. This process may require inquiries with Records Program staff to help locate records on the schedule or to suggest additions/changes to the schedule.
  4. Examine the list of your office records and their proper retention periods. Look for ways to manage your records that will facilitate the regular transfer of records to the archives or the destruction of non-permanent records. Whether for a filing cabinet or a computer directory, start with the following suggestions:
    • File distinct record series separately.
    • Label files and file drawers (directories) clearly and consistently.
    • At the end of each year (or every 2, 3, or 5 years) break the files and start again. That is, remove the past year's files and replace them with new, empty files. The old files can then go into less valuable storage space until they get transferred to the University Archives or destroyed.
  5. Records destruction: plan to review your files annually or semiannually. At this time you should gather all non-permanent records which are ready for destruction. These may then be destroyed following the instructions in Records Destruction.
  6. Transfer of non-permanent records: during your annual or semiannual review of records, you may note non-permanent records which your office no longer needs to keep on hand for use or simply has no storage space. These records may be transferred to another storage facility. For instructions on transferring non-permanent records, see Transferring Non-Permanent Records.
  7. Transfer to the University Archives: during your annual or semiannual review of records, you may note permanent records which your office no longer needs to keep on hand for use. These are ready for transfer to the University Archives. Once transferred to the University Archives, they are still accessible to you, but less quickly. For instructions on transferring records to the University Archives, see Transferring Permanent Records.

For further information see: Records Management Education and Training