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F&M College Library

Records Management Guidelines: Home



The Franklin and Marshall College Archives oversees the permanent records of the college.

At F&M, a record is any recorded information which is created, received, used, or filed in the course of official college business.

What is a Record?

The following records management guidelines exist to support the operations of the college, to identify and preserve records of enduring historical and administrative value, and to promote efficiency and economy in the storage and retrieval of college records. Records Management is a service that the College Archives is pleased to provide for the Franklin and Marshall community.

The permanent retention guidelines listed below identify what to keep, and when to transfer records to the College Archives.

If you have any questions concerning the records management program at Franklin and Marshall College, or the transfer of archival records, please contact Christopher Raab, Associate Librarian for Archives and Special Collections, at x4225, or email at

Retention Guidelines for Non-Current Office Records

The College Archives is the repository for all non-current, inactive, official College records that have sufficient historical and administrative value to warrant their preservation. Please refer to these retention guidelines when evaluating your records for disposition in the College Archives.

Records commonly retained by the Archives include:

  • Constitutions and by-laws, minutes and proceedings, lists of officers of College corporate bodies.
  • Office files : including correspondence and memoranda (incoming and outgoing) and subject files concerning projects activities and functions
  • Historical files documenting policies, decisions, committee and task force reports, questionnaires.
  • Publications : one copy of all programs, newsletters, brochures, posters and announcements issued by the College or its subdivisions. The Archives should be placed on College departmental and office mailing lists to receive all future publications.
  • Audio-visuals : photographs, films, sound and video recordings.
  • Personal papers of students, faculty, and staff which relate to the College's work.

Records which are not commonly retained by the Archives, but which may be retained by the office or origin, include:

  • Records of specific financial transactions.
  • Routine letters of transmittal and acknowledgement.
  • Non-personally addressed correspondence such as "Dean's and Directors" memoranda (except for one copy from the issuing office).
  • Requests for publications or information after the requests have been filled.
  • Replies to questionnaires if the results are recorded and preserved in the Archives or in a published report.

Items which may be discarded directly from the office of origin when they are no longer necessary include:

  • All blank forms and unused printed and duplicated materials.
  • All other duplicate material; keep only the original copy and annotated copies.
  • Papers, reports, working papers and drafts which have been published.

Digital information stored on disks, tapes, hard drives, CDs, DVDs or other formats can be deposited in the archives, however, the archives does not take responsibility for migrating the information to upgraded or newly developed formats. There may be times when important information should be printed and deposited in paper form.


Transferring Non-Current Records

Before transferring materials to the Archives, please consult the Records Retention Guidelines above.

Please follow the directions outlined below in preparing your department's records for permanent transfer:

  • Call and order acid-free boxes from the College Archives x4225 or x4433, or email the Archives with your request. Please estimate 2/3 of a standard file drawer per box. Archival boxes can accommodate both letter and legal size folders.
  • Please maintain the original order of all documents, and indicate the total number of boxes when finished (e.g. 1 of 5, 2 of 5, etc.).
  • Inventory each box by listing the title of each folder. Place the inventory in the box, and email a copy to the Archives. Remember to keep a copy of this document for your records.
  • Please arrange for the transfer of records via Facilities and Operations and inform Archives staff so we can anticipate the delivery of your records.

If you have additional questions concerning the transfer of archival records, please contact Christopher Raab, Associate Librarian for Archives and Special Collections, at x4225, or email at