This guide is for campus departments to become familiar with records management practices in order to self-assess and implement them, and for the general public to learn about records management requirements at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Managing Records offers general records management guidance that may be useful to any organization, from student organizations to unions to community groups.
Records are any documentation that an organization creates or receives in the course of its operations.
University records are records created or received by employees of the University of Maryland in connection with the transaction of its business.
The University of Maryland is a public institution, so university records are public records.
Active records refer to records in current use for an organization to perform its ongoing, day-to-day operations.
Inactive records are records that are no longer in current use.
Vital or essential records are records that, in the event of disaster:
In the event of extensive disaster or disruption of services, records that document the history of communities and families may also be essential for recovery. (Source: Intergovernmental Preparedness for Essential Records (IPER) Project)
Archival records are records that a repository (such as a library or archives) preserves because an archivist, records manager, or other custodian determines that they have enduring value or offer “evidence of the functions and responsibilities of their creator.” (Source: Society of American Archivists, Dictionary of Archives Terminology)
Records management involves analysis, retention, and disposition of records in order to:
Records analysis is how campus units, records managers, and archivists identify important functions of the university and its constituent units. Understanding how the university works tells us which records document those activities. For more about records analysis, see Records self-assessment.
The office of record is the unit responsible for retaining and disposing of specific types of university records.
Records retention is the period of time that an office of record must maintain a type of record before disposing of it. Retention lasts from the time a record is created until a specific condition or milestone has been met, for example:
Rarely, a group of records is designated for permanent retention. The University of Maryland Records Schedule specifies retention periods and conditions for campus records.
Records disposition is the set of actions a unit must take when the retention period has expired for a set of records (i.e. the specific condition has been met). Common types of disposition include:
The Maryland State Archives defines a records retention and disposition schedule as “an official document created by a government agency and approved by the State Archivist. A retention schedule lists every type of record that the agency generates and gives the agency authority to transfer permanent records and destroy non-permanent records at specified times.” (Source: Maryland State Archives, Records Officer Guidance)
Groups of records that share a function and retention requirements are called records series.