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MVZ Archival Records Retention

MVZ Handbook

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:

  1. Evidence of the structure, development, mission and functions of the museum over time.
  2. Documentation of the actions, decisions, policies, and fiscal and legal rights and responsibilities of the museum.
  3. Research and informational value.
Which emails should I save and which should I delete?

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:

  1. Does this email establish policy or procedure?
  2. Does this email provide recommendations?
  3. Does this email describe administrative actions taken or planned?
  4. Does this email have legal or evidential value?
  5. 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

 

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

?

Requires more conversation.

Meeting minutes and records

Minutes, handouts, etc. for departmental meetings

Yes

 

Memoranda, routine

Internal communications

No

 

Memoranda, significant

Internal communications

Yes

 

New building project records

Files, images, architectural drawings, etc. relating to the new VSLB

Yes

 

Patron registration

Patron identification

No

 

Personnel files, routine

Departmental copies of applications, time cards, evaluations, job descriptions

No

 

Photographs and digital images

Images produced by staff, vendors, or others related to the MVZ, its collections, facilities, people and events

Yes

 

Policy and procedural materials

Handbooks, manuals, and training materials

Yes

Transfer 1 copy of final versions to the archives

MVZ Printed material, non publication

Brochures, posters, outreach material, newsletters

Yes

2 of each should be transferred when possible

Non-MVZ printed material, non publication

Brochures, posters, outreach material, newsletters

No

 

Professional papers and presentations

Papers related to committee, professional organizations and lectures

Yes

Personal collections should be planned with the Archivist

Projects, events

Records relating to events for exhibitions, fundraisers, etc.

Yes

 

Research

Field notes and other data

Yes - may require more discussion

 

 



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