Getting Started on Records Scheduling

There was a post on SAA’s College and University Archives listserv (subscriber only, sorry) this week about a problem that is all too common in many of our institutions: The Archives is expected to keep *everything* and is not given sufficient guidance/resources to do so. The author of this post was new to SAA and wanted to see some examples of what schedules people are using for both permanent and temporary records, to give him, at least, some guidance on how to start managing the mess he inherited. Seems reasonable!

Lots of good advice and examples followed, including at least one person suggesting that this was an opportunity to advocate for more storage space! My own response, which I’m adapting for this post, is more along the lines of the famous aphorism: “Give a man a fire and he’s warm for a day; light a man on fire and he’s warm for the rest of his life.” (Wait… that’s not right. Apologies to the late great Terry Pratchett.) In other words, what should people be *thinking* about when they think about building out new records schedules?

Well, there could be (and are) whole courses on this topic. There are, in fact, proposed post series on this topic on this very blog. So this post is not so much a “comprehensive schedule-building how-to” as a “things to consider as you get started”. Even that could be way longer than I would like, so I’m going to try to shorten further by using bullet points. Ready? Follow me after the jump…

Continue reading “Getting Started on Records Scheduling”


FERPA, Defensible Deletion, and Newsaliens with Opinions

So! I meant to write a post about the shenanigans at University of Oregon. That moment passed because of procrastination. (Though you can read this post from Librarian Shipwreck that I wish I had written about it.)

THEN, I was going to write a post about Hillary Clinton’s email and the massive failure of records management happening there. Again, unfortunately, procrastination got the better of me. Besides, do we really need ANOTHER Hot Take on HRC’s email? (Though the tl;dr version of what I would have written there: STOP DOING THIS POLITICIANS, USE THE EMAIL SERVER WITH WHICH YOU ARE PROVIDED.)

Luckily, the New Republic helped me out with this piece on Yale deleting its admission records, so I DO have something topical to talk about after all! Lucky you (H/T Sam Winn):

You just got lawyered.

That was the takeaway from Yale Law School Dean Robert Post’s annual “State of the School” address last Tuesday. In frank terms, he explained that students who requested access to their educational records under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) would no longer be receiving the fat file they expected. To avoid being forced to hand over a wide range of documents in response to a flood of recent student requests, the school had decided to destroy its student admissions evaluation records along with any notations made by the career development office in individual student files.

Websites as Records: One Institution’s Perspective and a Reader Poll

This week, I’d like to share with readers a post I recently wrote for my home institution’s blog on the intersection of web archiving and records management. Take a moment to read it, here.

Of course, this is just one institution’s perspective. What are others doing to address the management of websites and web content?

I’d like to hear from you– does your organization schedule websites? Do you consider them to be permanent records to be transferred to an archival repository? Why or why not?