UMBC Records Management

The University Archives are developed in partnership with the UMBC Records Retention Schedule. This schedule is intended to set in place a campus wide system that will ensure the permanent retention of the important records of the University, and the timely destruction of those records for which the legal requirements have been met. The schedule will assist departments and offices in knowing which documents to preserve for their continuing value in providing evidence of the functions, operations, and activities of the institution and what to destroy thereby supporting the important work of preserving the strategic body of documents necessary for the continuity of this institution's history and the maintenance of its identity.

UMBC Policy on Records Management

Policy no. UMBC VI-6.10.01.

Collecting policy for the University Archives

In accordance with the UMBC Record Retention Schedule, the University Archives is the designated repository for records of enduring value made or received officially by UMBC and for other materials of historical value related to the function and history of UMBC (hereinafter "the University").

Return to top

Transfer procedures

The following procedures are to be used for documents being transferred to the University Archives for permanent retention. The archives transmittal form should be used for all transfers.

University Publications

  • Two copies of every publication produced, in whatever format, by any school, department, office or center of UMBC should by transferred to the University Archives in a print format at the time of publication.
  • All copies may be sent through the normal inter-office mail system and require one transmittal form for each publication at the start of regular submissions.
  • A notice should be sent to the Archives when a publication is to be discontinued so that we may close the file.

University Office Records

For all other records identified for transfer to the University Archives:

  • Contact the Special Collections Department at x52353 to acquire as many records cartons you will need. (These cartons are acid free and aid in the preservation of documents placed in the Archives.)
  • Completely fill all records cartons to be sent. One series may follow another in the same box.
  • Inventory the contents of each box completing one online archives transmittal form for each box. This ensures that the Archives can easily retrieve records for you should you need them in the future.)
  • Print one copy of the completed inventory forms for your records and send one copy via email to the University Archives.
  • When describing the contents of each box please note each group of related records, ie. documents generated by a specific activity and filed and used as a unit, for example: syllabi, general correspondence files, minutes etc.
  • Number boxes 1 of 3, 2 of 3, 3 of 3, etc. and mark each one with the name of the department on the side of the box containing the logo.

Please let us know the day materials are to be sent so that arrangements may be made to receive them.

Return to top

General records management tips

You are undoubtedly already overworked, and the thought of instituting a new system has, to say the least, limited appeal. But with a very limited expenditure of time and effort the UMBC Record Retention Schedule can provide you with some significant benefits. Here are some tips to help you get rid of the clutter in your offices, avoid duplication of effort, and allow easy retrieval of older materials whether they are held in your offices until their destruction or they are sent to the archives.

  1. Weed files more than 4 years old or until audit requirements have been met, whichever is later. Weeding files is the activity of removing documents that are no longer needed. Regular annual or every other year weeding of the whole system is usually necessary to systematically remove aging documents. When In Doubt, Do Not Throw It Out! Contact the Archivist!
    There are three categories of non-current records to be weeded from files:
    1. Papers that need to be kept as a short-term record, but have no enduring value to the University. These can and should be destroyed as a standard filing maintenance procedure.
      Items of this sort are:
      • All blank forms and unused printed or duplicated materials
      • All other duplicate materials: keep only the original copy and annotated copies
      • Papers, reports, work papers and drafts, which have been published.
      • Records from other departments sent for informational purposes.
    2. Classes of documents which under retention schedules are to be held for a specific period, then destroyed. These should be removed, labeled, and sent to records storage.
    3. Documents that due to historical significance are designated for permanent retention. These should be transferred to the University Archives, with the exception of those classes of documents scheduled for permanent retention in an official 'Office of Record'.

  2. Order contents of each record series into chronological order. (A record series is a group of related records normally filed and used as a unit for reference as well as retention and disposition purposes.)

  3. Break folders at a predetermined date. Break files annually (or every two years) Breaking a file means to start a new folder at regularly scheduled intervals, say every year, or on a specific date such as graduation, without fail. In this way, not only do folders not become over crowded but it is extremely easy to purge material on a regular basis. Making note of specific record series stipulated in the retention schedules and keeping each record series /record type separate will facilitate weeding and disposal of scheduled materials.

  4. Label old folders with inclusive dates before boxing them. (Student assistants can help with this.)

  5. Fill boxes in the same order that the folders exist in the file cabinets. (For records to be sent to the University Archives please contact the archives for acid free records cartons.)

  6. Number boxes ("1 of 3; 2 of 3, 3 of 3")

  7. Label boxes with the department/office name. Records scheduled for disposal should be marked 'Dispose After' with the disposal date in accordance with the retention schedule for that record series. These can then be easily stored until their destruction date without having to be revisited. Records being transferred to the University Archives should include a typed list (on a floppy disc/CD would be helpful) of the contents/folder titles (including beginning and ending dates) of each box. This ensures that the Archives can easily retrieve records for you should you need it in the future.

  8. Transfer boxes either to records storage or to the University Archives. See Transfer Procedures

***At this time there is no campus wide records center available. Therefore individual offices and departments are responsible for storage of any records not destined for the archives.
Return to top

Special Collections Services


Reading Room open by appointment

Now Available

photo of Robert W. Fichter's art
Shae McCoy: West Baltimore Ruins