Guidelines for Weeding Administrative Records

All duplicate copies, masters, and supplies should be eliminated from the files after first making sure a good copy of records remain. The following items are usually without value and can be discarded once their useful life is past:

  • Announcements (keep announcements in form of a program if generated by your entity)
  • Applications (except admissions and employees)
  • Appointments, letters and memos setting up appointments
  • Ballots (be sure to keep record of final vote)
  • Budget draft papers (keep the final copy)
  • Checks, canceled
  • Class materials: textbooks, workbooks, handouts, etc., but keep syllabi and course outlines
  • Copies of widely circulated documents, including e-mail: agendas, lists, minutes, manuals, reports, and memoranda, unless your office is the office of origin
  • Copy or final draft for publication (programs, calendars, reports, etc.—after publication)
  • Covering letters and memos
  • Directives and instructions 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, especially speeches, addresses. Major planning documents, save preliminary discussion documents, background reports, and drafts which contain substantive differences from the final version.
  • Financial records, routine and interim—a year old: cash receipt, delivery slips, purchase orders, requisitions, invoices, statements of telephone calls, etc.
  • Forms, blank (send 2 copies to the archives)
  • Invitations and notices
  • Invoices after payment
  • Letters and memos setting up appointments
  • Memoranda asking for comments (after comments have been received)
  • Multiple copies of a single original document—keep only two for the archives
  • Off-campus periodicals and publications, e.g. catalogs, newsletters, bulletins, reports, manuals, magazines, books, etc.
    • Note: unless there is a clear connection of them with the officer of the entity.
  • Orders, financial: textbooks, teaching materials, office supplies, etc.
  • Payroll deductions, authorizations and notices, time cards
  • Proofs for publication (after publication—see also Draft)
  • Property/equipment inventories and related forms (including releases)
  • Routine acknowledgments, circulars, notifications, requests, reminders
  • Receipts
  • Releases
  • Reservations and Confirmations for meetings, travel, etc.
  • Sales literature (received)
  • Travel requests, arrangements, tickets, reimbursements
  • Work orders, papers (from plant service and outside vendors)
  • Worksheets
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Berrien Springs, Michigan 49104