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Records come in many shapes and sizes. So how do you tell what has enduring value and belongs in an archive?
Unfortunately, there is no fast and easy answer to this question. The collection development policy has some suggestions for records that document the policy decisions, programs, significant events, and the origin of Parkland College. Records from a wide range of institutional activities, from instruction, to governance, to student involvement should be preserved.
If you are not sure that a record has archival value, remember the motto, "When in doubt, chicken out." Don't toss it until you have talked to your friendly neighborhood archivist.
When do I know materials are ready to be transferred? The College Archives collects records that are considered inactive. This means that your department is no longer using them for day-to-day operations. Transferred materials will be available for use at any time by contacting the Archives and making an appointment.
What are kinds of records should not be sent to the Archives? These would include records of no enduring value, for example, receipts, invoices, draft budgets, perfunctory correspondence or memoranda, and research materials and publications not produced by Parkland College faculty, students, or staff. We also do not acquire student records of any kind, as well as records that are readily available elsewhere, such as grant applications. Duplicates may be disposed, though in the case of college publications, we accept up to two copies.
Do you accept electronic records? What about my email? At this time electronic records need to be stored on CD or DVD in order for them to be transferred to the Archives. Action must be taken by the records holder in order to preserve important email by saving them to CD or DVD or printing them out.
How can I keep papers in good condition? We realize that storage conditions are almost never ideal. Files that tend to reach our office in the best condition have been stored in folders within file cabinets and then placed in boxes in the order in which they were originally filed, with folder titles intact.
Am I legally required to keep or properly dispose of records? There are legal requirements for the retention and disposal of college records that you may not be aware of. For more information on records management requirements, see the Records Retention Guide.
Also look at the official records retention schedule below: