Definitions & Basic Principles


An area designated for storage of inactive and non-current records, manuscripts, papers, and memorabilia which are retained permanently for administrative, financial, legal, social, or historical reasons. As a verb, the terms archive, archived, and archiving refer to the processes of storing inactive and non-current records.

Andrews University Archives

The Andrews University Archives (Archives) is the designated University office responsible for selecting and preserving all University records with long-term value. The Archives also promotes good practice in records management across the institution. Access to the Archives is via the Center for Adventist Research (CAR).

Center for Adventist Research (CAR)

The Center for Adventist Research combines the resources of the former Adventist Heritage Center and the Ellen G. White Branch Office. It serves as the outlet for public records of the University such as publications. Users of archived records will do so at CAR under access policies set by the Andrews University Archives Committee.

Disposal or Disposition

The final stage in a record's life cycle, defined according to its records retention schedule destruction. This may be met by disposal in the office, transfer to inactive storage with destruction at a specified later date, or transfer to the University Archives for permanent preservation. See Records Life Cycle below.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Federal law protecting the privacy of student educational records. All offices of the University are covered by FERPA regulations. See Retention Schedules for Student Records,

Office of Origin

The office in which a given record or record series was originally created or accumulated. The Office of Origin retains jurisdiction over records until they are released for public use. Sensitive records will not be released. See Closed Records under Records Life Cycle.


Records available to individuals from the community served by the University and James White Library. The persons thus served.

Records Coordinator

The records coordinator of a University office, department, committee, school, or organization maintains regular communication with the Archives and ensures that files are managed in harmony with established record retention schedules. The records coordinator promotes the orderly transfer and/or disposal of inactive records. Records coordinators should consult with the University Archivist when they have questions about the value of specific records for the University.

Record Series

A group of related records or documents, such as minutes, syllabi, etc. that are normally used and filed as a group because they result from the same activity. A series is the basic unit for retention scheduling purposes.

Records Life Cycle

Active Records (or Current Records)

Records needed close at hand on a regular basis to conduct the current business of an office. They must, therefore, be kept and maintained in or near the office.

Inactive Records (or Non-current Records)

Records not needed on a regular basis and used in an office less than once a year. They could, therefore, be maintained at a location further from the office of origin or be sent to the Andrews University Archives.

Closed Records

Records which are sealed and not open to the public, nor to any Andrews University employee, except to authorized personnel from the Archives and the office of origin. Closure of records is determined by applicable State and Federal laws, as well as University policies governing the Andrews University Archives

Records Management

The management of University records from their creation, through their active and inactive stages to final disposition.

Records Retention Schedule

A document or timetable which lists records created and maintained in an office and indicates how long these records are retained in active and inactive files, and/or at the Andrews University Archives. It also indicates the final disposition of these records. Records may be retained in the Archives as closed or inactive records, or may be destroyed, as appropriate. Some records will be released for public use, within the CAR reading room, after a specific period of time.

University Records

Any record, in any form or medium, which is created, owned, used, in the possession of, or retained by Andrews University faculty, administrator, and staff in the performance of duties for which they received compensation. University records are University property.