Guidelines on types of records to send to the University Archives

The primary mission of the IU Libraries University Archives is to collect, organize, make accessible and preserve records documenting Indiana University's origins and development and the activities and achievements of its officers, faculty, students, alumni and benefactors. Documenting IU student organizations/student life is a major objective of the University Archives.

The following guidelines will assist student organizations in identifying those portions of their files that are appropriate for transfer to the University Archives. Records commonly transferred include, but are not limited to, the following material:

  1. Constitutions and by-laws, minutes and proceedings, transcripts, lists of officers;
  2. Office Files: correspondence and memoranda (incoming and outgoing) and subject files concerning projects, activities and functions;
  3. Historical files documenting policies, decisions, committee and task force reports and proceedings, questionnaires;
  4. Publications: three record copies of all newsletters, journals, brochures, monographs, programs, posters, and announcements issued by the organization or its subdivisions; 
  5. Audio-visuals: photographs, digital images, films, and sound and video recordings;

Note: All information formats (e.g., published, typescript, audio-visual, and electronic data, such as computer disks and files) are appropriate for consideration for transfer. For documents in formats requiring any form of machine intervention, such as videotapes and all computer files, consideration should be given to converting the documents to a format accessible to the University Archives' users. Early consultation with a staff archivist is strongly encouraged for all such materials.

Records which generally should not be transferred but scheduled for disposal after consultation with the staff archivist include:

  1. Records of specific financial transactions;
  2. Routine letters of transmittal and acknowledgment;
  3. Non-personally addressed correspondence;
  4. Requests for publications or information after the requests have been filled;
  5. Replies to questionnaires if the results are recorded and preserved either in the Archives or in a published report.

These lists are intended as general guides. If there are questions about records not listed here or questions about the retention or disposal of specific record series, please telephone the University Archives at 812-855-1127 or e-mail the University Archives staff at archives@indiana.edu. When ready to transfer records, please review and follow the procedures outlined in the Procedures for Transfer of University Records.

WHEN IN DOUBT, PLEASE DO NOT THROW IT OUT! CONTACT THE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES!

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