Guidelines for Weeding Records
All duplicate copies can be eliminated from the files. Only one good copy needs to be sent to the Archives.
The following items usually have no enduring value and can be discarded once their useful life is past:
- Announcements, unless your office is the office of origin
- Copies of widely circulated documents, including e-mail, agendas, lists, minutes, manuals, reports, and memoranda, unless your office is the office of origin.
- Directives and instructions received from other offices or organizations
- Forms, blank (office of origin should keep one copy for the Archives)
- Invitations, notices, routine acknowledgments, circulars, notifications, requests, reminders
- Appointments, letters and memos setting up appointments
- Many covering letters and memos accompanying documents
- Class materials: textbooks, workbooks, handouts, etc., (Do keep one set of syllabi, course outlines, and course handouts)
- Orders for textbooks, teaching material, office supplies, etc.
Financial Records, routine and interim over a year old (see Retention Schedules)
- Budget draft papers (keep the final copy for its useful life)
- Checks, canceled
- Delivery slips
- Equipment inventories and related forms two years after discarding item (including releases)
- Invoices after payment
- Purchase orders
- Telephone records
- Meeting Information (e.g., Committees, faculty, other groups)
- Ballots (be sure to keep copy of ballot if printed and a record of the final vote)
- Handouts unless from the office of origin
- Off-campus periodicals and publications, e.g., catalogs, newsletters, bulletins, reports, manuals, magazines, books, etc. NOTE:: unless there is a clear connection between them and your office.
- Sales literature (received)
- Drafts—once the final paper, report, program, budget, publication, etc. has been issued or published. NOTE: exceptions: Those drafts which could add significant insight into the creators’ thought processes as he/she worked on the material, such as speeches or addresses. For major planning documents, save committee minutes, preliminary discussion documents, background reports, and drafts which contain substantive differences from the final version. Be sure to keep the final publication or document and send a copy to the Archives.
- Job applications (except as designated in Retention Schedules)
- Memoranda asking for comments (once the comments have been received)
- Multiple copies of a single original document; keep only one copy for the Archives, preferably the original
- Proofs for publication (until after publication, see also Drafts)
- Reservations and confirmations for meetings, travel, etc.
- Travel requests, arrangements, tickets, reimbursements
- Work orders (from plant service and outside vendors)