Records to Toss

All duplicate copies can be eliminated from your files. Only one good copy needs to managed longer-term.

The following items usually have no enduring value and can be discarded once their useful life for your office has passed:

Campus Information

  • Announcements, unless your office is the office of origin.  In this case, you need to keep it.
  • Copies of widely circulated documents, including e-mail, agendas, lists, minutes, manuals, reports, and memoranda, unless your office is the office of origin.  In this case, you need to keep it.
  • Directives and instructions received from other offices or entities
  • Forms from other offices or entities, unless your office is the office of origin.  In this case, you need to keep it.
  • Invitations, notices, routine acknowledgments, circulars, notifications, requests, reminders


  • Appointments:  Letters and memos setting up appointments
  • Cover letters and memos accompanying documents

Course Materials

  • 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/property inventories and related forms two years after discarding item
  • Invoices after payment
  • Purchase orders
  • Receipts
  • Requisitions
  • Statements
  • Telephone records
  • Worksheets
  • 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, unless the vote is recorded elsewhere.
  • Handouts unless from the office of origin

Off-Campus Information

  • 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

Office Management

  • 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 University Archives, along with the rest of your records.
  • Job applications, except as designated in record 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.  Keep the final publication.
  • Releases
  • Reservations and confirmations for meetings, travel, etc.
  • Routine acknowledgments, circulars, notifications, requests, reminders
  • Travel requests, arrangements, tickets, reimbursements
  • Work orders for Plant Service and outside vendors