Archival Manual | Records Retention
Criteria for Retention of Museum Records
The archivist must be involved in the determination of how long and under what conditions particular records are to be kept. The criteria for permanent retention include:
- Evidence of the structure, development, mission and functions of the museum over time.
- Documentation of the actions, decisions, policies, and fiscal and legal rights and responsibilities of the museum.
- Research and informational value.
Guidelines for Retention of Email Correspondence
Significant correspondence recording significant transactions, projects, events and operations should be transferred to the Archives for permanent retention.
In order to determine whether or not correspondence is considered significant, ask yourself the following questions. If you answer “yes” once or more, the message should be permanently retained:
- Does this email establish policy or procedure?
- Does this email provide recommendations?
- Does this email describe administrative actions taken or planned?
- Does this email have legal or evidential value?
- Is the content of this email historically significant?
For email correspondence, you are only responsible for saving the final message of a thread as long as the full text of the interaction remains intact. Some types of messages fall outside the scope of the general records retention schedule and may be deleted immediately: General bulletins and announcements, duplicate copies of messages, drafts, meeting notices, and messages from mailing lists.
General Guidelines for Common Records
|Record Series||Description||Transfer to Archives||Comments|
|Budget files||Annual departmental budget and working files (invoices, receipts, etc.)||No|
|Building project records||Files, images, architectural drawings, etc. relating to the VSLB||Yes|
|Contracts||Official contracts for goods, services, publications, etc.||No|
|Correspondence, significant||Deals with important projects, events, departmental operations||Yes|
|Correspondence, routine||Deals with routine administrative matters||No|
|Deaccessions||Specimens deaccessioned from collections as well as denied loans, gifts, and purchases||Yes|
|Donors and gifts||Records regarding donations and development, thank you letters, etc.||Yes|
|Equipment||Maintenance manuals, receipts, RFQs||No|
|Loans, incoming and outgoing||Specimens lent to the museum and by the museum||No||
Retain in curatorial files
|Meeting minutes and records||Minutes, handouts, etc. for departmental meetings||Yes|
|Memoranda, routine||Internal communications||No|
|Memoranda, significant||Internal communications||Yes|
|MVZ Printed material, non publication||Brochures, posters, outreach material, newsletters||Yes||Transfer 2 copies|
|Non-MVZ printed material, non publication||Brochures, posters, outreach material, newsletters||No|
|Patron registration||Patron identification||No|
|Personnel files, routine||Departmental copies of applications, time cards, evaluations, job descriptions||No|
|Policy and procedural materials||Handbooks, manuals, and training materials||Yes||Transfer 1 copy|
|Professional papers and presentations||Papers related to committee, professional organizations and lectures||Yes||Plan with the Archivist|
|Projects, events||Records relating to events for exhibitions, fundraisers, etc.||Yes|
|Research||Field notes and other data||Yes|