We’re excited to announce the release of a new, improved edition of the University’s General Records Retention and Disposition Schedule. The Schedule is a guide to the records produced by UNC Chapel Hill and UNC General Administration and their disposition – whether and when records should be discarded or transferred to University Archives.
The new edition, which can be found on our website, supersedes the previous schedule released in 2012. so I encourage you all to review the sections of the new schedule that are most relevant to your records and update any of your unit’s internal documentation and policies that refer to the old schedule.
Many thanks to everyone on campus, at the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, and at UNC General Administration who provided vital feedback and support during the revision process.
Please direct any questions you have about the new schedule and other records management inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today are hearts are heavy as we bid adieu to Records Services Archivist extraordinaire, the one-and-only, Lawrence Giffin.
Lawrence joined UARMS staff in 2011 and for the past two and a half years has led the records management services program at UNC. He has offered countless consultations and trainings to staff across campus, prepared updates for our general records retention and disposition schedule, and managed the records transfer process– not to mention all of the countless other projects in UARMS and the Wilson Special Collections Library that he has contributed to.
Thank you, Lawrence for all of your hard work here at UARMS. You’ll be a tough act to follow, and we’re really going to miss you.
Please continue to send records transfer forms, administrative reference requests, and general records management inquiries and questions to our UARMS email address– email@example.com
You can also call us at (919) 962-6402 for immediate assistance.
We’re all sad to see Lawrence go but wish him all the best in his future endeavors!
Last week, Electronic Records Archivist Meg Tuomala participated in a virtual discussion about the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) Capstone Email Initiative, which gives guidance on a new way for federal agencies to manage email records. The discussion was led by Arian Ravanbakhsh and Beth Cron, both records management policy analysts in the Office of the Chief Records Officer at NARA.
The discussion was hosted by the Society of American Archivists‘ Records Management Roundtable, and a video recording is available here. Arian and Beth give a great overview of the Initiative and weigh-in on several questions and considerations surrounding it for not just federal agencies, but state governments, universities, and private organizations too.
If you’re at all interested in the records management side of UARMS’ work, we hope that you can take some time to view the recording.
UARMS is very interested in applying the Capstone method of capturing and archiving email of enduring value generated at UNC. As discussed in the recording and addressed in the Initiative, it’s not a perfect solution, but it could be a practical and real way for us to make strides towards preserving email– a format that has become integral to our work over the past 20 years and thus serves to document the history of the University in the 21st century.
A few weeks ago, we posted about UARMS’ web archiving program and the work we’re doing to collect and preserve University websites. As archivists, we see websites as important documents that are a fundamental part of today’s culture. Many websites have enduring historical value, and we believe future researchers will be interested in accessing web archives for their unique and rich content.
Another important purpose that our web archives fulfill is much more immediate and relevant to University employees as they do their day-to-day work, especially records management liaisons and web content managers: records management and content recovery. As records managers, we see websites as documents that are being actively created and used in the course of the work done at the University. Many websites are a business record, and as such, previous versions sometimes need to be easily accessed and retrieved for reference.
For example, just a few weeks ago we received an inquiry from a department on campus asking if we could retrieve content that “vanished” from their website after migrating to a new content management system.
Luckily, the web documents that went missing had been archived and preserved in our web archives. They were able to use these to patch-up what the migration wasn’t able to transfer, and update their new site.
In today’s technology landscape, everything is changing all the time. Providing a repository where websites are preserved for the long-term, we are not only creating a body of documentation that will be useful to future scholars; we hope that we are also helping UNC employees feel more confident as they change, update, and yes even delete, their office’s web pages and content.
If you manage your office’s website please let us know. We’d love to add it to our archive, and thus help you better manage and preserve the rich content it contains.
Also, if you are looking for documents–analog or digital–that you think may have been transferred to the Archives let us know, we’re happy to help you search.
Not everything that the University Archives accessions meets the criteria for permanent retention, especially when handling materials that are part of our backlog, which may have been accessioned years ago under different policy. The process of separating permanent from non-permanent records is known by the archival technical term “weeding.”
One category of non-permanent records are those documents and publications that are not created or distributed by the university. Now and again, rummaging through thirty boxes of unprocessed Legal Affairs records, I would come across interesting items you wouldn’t expect to find among the administrative records of a university office.
Unfortunately, stuff like this most often doesn’t aid our mission of documenting the university–and these sorts of publications exist in many places around the world, unlike the institutional records of the university, which are one of a kind. As non-records, stuff like this gets recycled. (It’s a poor use of our resources to keep an entire run of Back to Godhead when you can download all the PDFs for free at www.back2godhead.com.) After looking through only four boxes, I ended up with a foot-and-a-half-high recycling pile.
The summer months are a quiet time here at Carolina as most of the students have gone home (or elsewhere) for the summer. The few that remain are immersed in intensive summer school courses, or working on campus or in town.
Campus can seem almost deserted this time of year. The sidewalks are empty, there’s virtually no one hanging around the Pit, and there are minimal lines and wait times at the few food-and-drink stops that remain open.
But don’t be fooled, there’s still a large group of people hard at work from Graduation day until the first day of classes. In fact, for many University staff this time of year is no less busy than August through April, it’s a time when we can catch up of administrative tasks, such as records management!
So if you are a staff member finding yourself sorting through “piles of files” this summer and need help give us a call at 962-6402 or email us at recman (at) unc (dot) edu to schedule a consultation. We are more than happy to help you start making sense of the mess!
Most departments have moved from creating and managing paper records to handling files in digital formats. University Archives is now receiving records of permanent value that are born-digital. We are developing our skills and tools to handle these digital files.
We use write blockers like the Tableau T35es and Tableau T8-R2 to ensure that materials are not altered during the transfer process.
We have a great tool that prepares the materials for the Carolina Digital Repository called Curator’s Workbench. It’s free, open-source software that other repositories can use for handing digital materials.
If you are part of a unit on campus that has digital materials that you’d like to transfer to University Archives, please contact us.
So ask away! But remember that University Archives staff is here everyday to answer any questions you may have about what we do and what we have here at University Archives, UNC history, even records management. And if we can’t answer your question, we will refer you to someone who can.
Welcome to “For the Record,” University Archives and Records Management Services’ (UARMS) blog. We look forward to using this space to share content with you and make announcements regarding our services.
Expect posts from UARMS staff, students, and friends on diverse topics such as
interesting finds from the Archives, and
archives-related news and events.
Thanks for visiting! If you have any tips, suggestions, or other comments for us please let us know!