Transfer Guidelines for Non-Current Office Records

As a rule, the University Archives should be sent significant and unique records that were generated or received by your office. Records are usually significant and have long-term value if they document policy changes, major projects or precedents. A general rule is to ask what material would be of use to a person writing a report about your office or department. Consider the potential uses of records; for example, grant proposals can often benefit from the inclusion of historical data. Records commonly transferred to the University Archives include:

  1. Non-current records of administrative, academic, and student organizations: Regents, President, Vice-presidents, Deans, Faculty Governance, Academic Departments, Student Organizations, Administrative Offices, Ecumenical Institute.
  2. Types of records include: Policy statements and decisions, accreditation reports and supporting documentation, annual budget and audit reports, agenda and minutes of meetings, annual reports, committee and task force reports, subject files concerning projects, statistical summaries, press releases, correspondence and memoranda (incoming and outgoing), and papers created in the process of the University carrying out its mission.
  3. All official college publications: Catalogs, student newspapers, literary magazines, yearbooks, alumni magazines, campus maps, newsletters, admissions and fund raising brochures, programs of conferences and events sponsored by the University, University directories of faculty/staff rosters, and monographs copyrighted by Saint John's University.
  4. Campus buildings: Blueprints, building models, and plans.
  5. Papers: Student honor papers, prominent alumni, retired faculty.
  6. Alumni memoirs: Clubs, diaries, photographs, reunion books, scrapbooks. Such donations are accompanied by a Deed of Gift.
  7. Audio-visuals: Photographs (black and white prints are preferred) films, and audio and video recordings relating to the campus, University personnel, alumni, and students.
  8. Artifacts and memorabilia. The University Archives has begun (in 2008) to collect non-documentary objects related to Saint John's University's history, particularly those of great importance and manageable physical size and condition.

Materials should be transferred in the order in which the records' creator maintained them. A letter briefly identifying the materials and describing the activity to which they relate should accompany the transfer along with a listing of the files. The above list is intended as a general guide.

ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS: Studies have concluded that the best way to ensure long term preservation of records is to print out your important electronic documents.

Please contact the archives at 2129 when you are transferring a collection.

Thank you!


Guidelines for cleaning out your correspondence and general purpose files

Here are examples of materials you should PRESERVE for the archives:

  • Policy statements
  • Materials relating to the organization or re-organization of your office
  • Budgets and budget planning records
  • Organizational and functional charts
  • Correspondence and memoranda showing or assigning
    1. powers and responsibilities, or
    2. working relationships with other offices or entities
  • Staff studies, special reports and substantive bulletins
  • Regulations that apply to your office
  • Written material describing your office's policies or procedures, both internal and external
  • Official reports issued by your office
  • Minutes of meetings of your office
  • Press releases and information materials originating in your office
  • Publications of your office (Newsletters, etc.)
  • Other correspondence or materials documenting your office's origin, function, policies or procedures

The following materials should NOT be transferred to the University Archives and may be discarded directly from the office when they are no longer needed for administrative purposes.

Here are examples of materials YOU MAY DISCARD:

  • All blank forms, routing slips, and transmittal sheets
  • All duplicate material: keep only the original copy
  • Extra copies of documents you've saved for convenience or reference purposes, such as:
    1. "Reading file" copies of correspondence, or
    2. "Tickler," "follow-up" or "suspense" copies of correspondence
  • Copies of memos, press releases, informational materials and other directives from other campus offices
  • Preliminary drafts, worksheets, or intermediate drafts of letters, memoranda, reports, or other papers
  • Publications of other campus offices
  • Letters and memoranda of transmittal and acknowledgment that do nothing more than forward an enclosure and add nothing to the content of the item transmitted
  • Requests for information and publications after the information or publication has been received or sent
  • Requests to be added to mailing lists
  • Reservations, confirmations, itineraries, thank you notes, etc.
  • Invitations and announcements of meetings
  • Papers, reports, work papers and preliminary drafts, and drafts of memos, letters, reports, etc., which have been published
  • Other offices' memos that do not serve as the basis of official actions (e.g. notices of holidays or appeals)
  • Other material that you easily recognize as routine and of short-lived administrative value