Archiving is where we intend to keep an item forever. This is normally
because it has ongoing legal, business or historical value. We don't keep items
forever just in case they might be useful one day or because we can't find time
to get rid of them. Documents - both paper and electronic - cost money to store.
There is some information that we certainly should not be keeping for long
periods of time, especially personal information.
Paper has a reasonable life expectation. You can help it
Select the best copy you have (or print or photocopy to make a better copy).
Remove paperclips, elastic bands and plastic pockets as they will all damage
the paper in the end.
Weed out large numbers of duplicates, sticky notes, and anything that
doesn’t need to be kept (e.g. keep final versions of minutes but not drafts and
handwritten notes that have been filed with them)
Use a folder or box of suitable size and do not overfill it.
If you can use acid free paper, wallets or folders, so much the better.
If at all possible, store away from direct heat, light and damp.
It’s also a good idea to label folders or boxes clearly to say what is in
them, the dates covered, and either the time they need to be thrown away or a
clear note that they are not to be thrown away.
If possible, write the label directly on to the body of the box or folder.
The glue on paper labels doesn't last forever and such labels have a habit of
peeling off after a while. When you're tidying your files always refresh the
labelling as soon as it starts to fade. Look at our
organising information page for help
on the best wording for folders.
Council Papers, 1987-1992. DO NOT DESTROY.
Maths Department. Budget, 2009/10. Destroy September 2016.
Unfortunately the Governance Office does not have storage or archive space to
Electronic records have a shorter life than paper. If you have favourite
films on video at home and no video player, music cassettes you can no longer
listen to, or floppy disks in the back of your desk at work you’ll understand
Data stored on central University systems has a long life and care is taken
to ensure that when systems are updated no data is becomes inaccessible. Use
shared drives and folders rather than personal folders to ensure that the
records remain accessible if you leave your role. Make sure the folder name is
clear about the content, and consider including the destruction date (if there
is one) or mote that the documents should not be destroyed.
Do not use removable media for archiving. If you are
keeping records for a short period of time then CD or DVD is
best. Label the disks clearly, keep them in their cases.
Store them flat in a cool, dry, dark area. Avoid handling
them too often.
Example folder names:
Council Papers, 2002 2003. DO NOT DESTROY.
Contracts 2012. Destroy 2017.