What is a Record?

In the course of business, your office, department, committee, or program produces and handles a great deal of material.  However, not all such material is a “record.”  Mistakenly, some assume that anything created is a record and should be managed as such.  This is not the case.  As records management can only deal with institutional records, it is helpful to differentiate between record and non-record material.

A record is any information generated in the course of conducting business, AND which must be maintained to meet the fiscal, legal, historical, or administrative needs of an organization.

Some examples (though not an exhaustive list):

  • Fiscal data
  • Outgoing and incoming correspondence
  • Reports and statistical compilations
  • Minutes from College meetings

These categories are records REGARDLESS of format.  They can be papers, computer print-outs, microfilm, digital files, magnetic discs, VHS tapes, or any other ways of holding information.

Non-record material may include:

  • Magazines or newspapers
  • Blank paper and other supplies
  • Purchased research
  • Data from outside the College
  • Article copies
  • Newspaper clippings
  • iTunes® library
  • Personal email

Questions? Contact us.

See also: