A campus records management program was established for Albion College in 2002 with the approval of President Peter T. Mitchell and his Administrative Council. The results of the initial effort are available in an Outcomes Report from that year.
Why Records Management?
Records management exists in order to fill the holes that exist in the historical record of an institution, department, unit or group on campus by ensuring information that should be preserved for future research and development is being created and retained. It also addresses storage space and retrieval time by determining what materials should be kept, what should be thrown away, and what should be transferred to the College Archives. Records management also ensures that records are being handled in a manner that follows the rules and restrictions associated with federal and state law.
These actions are dictated through a document called a Records Schedule, the process of which is described below.
Step 1: Records Management Survey
The process of creating a records schedule begins with a Records Management Survey.
Step 2: Records Schedule
After completing the survey, it is possible for the Archivist with the Documents Retention Committee to determine the best Records Retention Schedule for your department or unit, based on what it is you currently collect, what materials you need access to in order for daily operations to occur, what it is you should be collecting in order to adequately document those operations, and if there are any federal or state restrictions that dictate the retention of records within your department, unit or group.
Step 3: Annual Review
By observing the retention policies in the records schedule for your department, unit or group on an annual basis, you will be able to keep physical control over the amount of records retained in your area and have better intellectual control over the records that you keep. You will also ensure records essential to documenting the history of your department, unit or group are being transferred to the archives for proper storage and future access.
Unless shredding is specifically called for due to the private or sensitive nature of an item, materials marked for destruction can be dealt with however the office sees fit.
Materials that are marked for permanent archival storage will need to be inventoried, and the Archivist contacted for their transfer. There is a transfer form to be sent with the boxes to ensure that no information or materials are lost in transit. Facilities will not deliver materials to the Archives unless the Archives has already been contacted to approve the transfer.
If you have any questions regarding records management in general; the process of obtaining a records schedule for your department, unit or group; or a current records management schedule, please do not hesitate to contact the Archives.