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General Recordkeeping Guidelines

The purpose of this page is to assist academic departments in determining what they should keep and what they can discard. It should be used in conjunction with American University's Records Retention and Disposal Policy.

Documents that should be kept by the official repository

Materials that have either administrative or research value may be transferred to the University Archives once they are no longer needed. The University Archives accepts materials in all formats including audio-visual materials, electronic files, maps, and photographs. Documents that should be kept include:

  • Agendas
  • Annual Reports
  • Audio-visual materials
  • Budgets
  • Contracts
  • Correspondence (incoming and outgoing; letters and email)
  • Course Syllabi
  • Directories
  • Drawings
  • Flyers
  • Grant Files
  • Manuscripts
  • Maps
  • Minutes
  • Photographs
  • Policies
  • Posters
  • Proceedings
  • Programs
  • Publications (2 copies)
  • Reports
  • Resolutions
  • Speeches

Documents that can be discarded

  • Extra copies of documents/photographs kept only for convenience or reference
  • Extra copies of publications/photographs stocked for distribution purposes
  • Blank forms kept for supply purposes