Archiving Information: Guidelines for Archival Record Retention
Chairs of all IS committees, task forces and other working groups are responsible for all records they receive or produce in carrying out the business and activities of their particular office or committee, task force or other working group. At year's end, all chairs are responsible for making sure that appropriate archival materials are identified and retained for two separate and distinct purposes: first, to contribute the year's work to the formal ACRL / ALA archives, and second, to forward current working records and relevant information to the incoming chair of the committee to ensure smooth leadership transition. This web page is intended to help chairs compile and submit archival records in a timely manner for both purposes. New chairs are made aware of this document and their archiving responsibilities at the New Leadership Orientation during the ALA Annual Conference, and are remindedagain at ALA Midwinter and Annual Conferences.
1. The ACRL / ALA Archives: After the ALA Annual Meeting, the outgoing IS Secretary becomes the IS Archivist. All chairs of IS committees, task forces and other working groups are responsible for submitting formal archival materials of their group's work to the IS Archivist by the end of August (immediately after the ALA Annual Meeting). The IS Archivist will confirm the receipt of materials with each individual chair. The IS Archivist will compile an annual inventory of committee, task force or other working group materials being sent to the ACRL office and will share this inventory with the IS Advisory Council when complete. More information on what types of materials to submit to the IS Archivist appears below, along with information on how to organize your submissions, and the annual archiving timeline.
2. Committee Notebooks / Current working records: Chairs are also responsible for keeping current working records from their committee and for passing these along in a timely fashion to the incoming chair for that committee. Traditionally, these working records have been kept in Committee notebooks; some committees may use online means (such as Yahoo Groups, Google Groups, etc.) for retention of current working records, or a combination of print and online methods. Regardless of format, the outgoing chair is responsible for arranging timely transmission of these materials to the incoming chair to ensure a smooth transition. ALA Annual is often a convenient time to arrange in advance for print notebooks to be passed on to the next chair. More information on what types of materials to forward to the next chair appears below.
DOCUMENT RETENTION & DISPENSATION
- Membership rosters
- Minutes and Agendas of Committee / Task Force / working group meetings
- Minutes for closed meetings, or meetings with some component of confidential discussion, should still be submitted to document that a meeting was held, who attended, and what general decisions were made (e.g. selection of award recipients).
- Committee Annual Planning documents; Task Force / working group formal Planning documents, when these exist
Correspondence, written and e-mail
- Include copies of important correspondence connected with a project or any correspondence that would illuminate the process or final outcome of activities. Include original message and any important replies, as defined above.
- Personal notes and insignificant correspondence need not be retained.
- Important e-mails connected with a project or that illuminate the process or final outcome of activities should be printed out and submitted in print format. Insignificant, personal or routine emails that do not lead to major decisions or clarify how decisions were made or committee / task force projects were achieved need not be retained.
- Confidential materials: Send only non-confidential materials to the IS Archivist for the ALA Archives. No materials of a confidential nature should be submitted or retained.
- Deciding what correspondence to archive might at times be ambiguous. Feel free to contact the IS Archivist or your Executive Committee liaison with any questions in this area.
IS Web Site
- Chairs and IS Web site administrators share responsibility for archiving selected portions of the Instruction Section Web site. Any Web site materials submitted to the IS Archivist should be printed out and submitted in print format.
- In general, chairs are responsible for archiving their own committee / task force web pages, and specifically those documents or pages that have changed and been uploaded to the IS Web site during the reporting year's activities.
- IS Web site administrators are responsible for archiving other selected portions of the IS Web site, and follow the same procedures and timeline as chairs for submission of Web site content to the IS Archivist.
- Include copies of all articles or news items published by or about your committee. Check the IS Newsletter, College & Research Libraries (C&RL) and College & Research Libraries News (C&RL News) for items.
- Include selected photographs from IS events that feature IS officers, members and speakers, with selection based upon potential value to the Section or to future researchers. The committee chair should number the photographs in pencil on the back or, if the photographs are in digital format, the chair should print these out, label them as described above, and submit the photos in print format. The event and people in the photographs must be identified, including event, date, location, names of people pictured. Photographs and descriptive information and must be submitted together and be clearly labeled. A photo CD is acceptable to submit only when accompanied with a file / spreadsheet that clearly identifies each photo with event, date, location, and names of people pictured.
- One set of any slides, videotapes, audiotapes, etc. should be submitted.
- For other non-print materials, consult with the IS Archivist (who may need to consult with the ALA Archivist).
Postings to listservs
- Monitor ILI-L for any postings by the committee and submit one copy of each posting.
- Include one copy of each major draft of a project, report, or program. Interim or working drafts need not be retained. Submit all accompanying evaluations, publicity, bibliographies, flyers, etc.
- Include publication proposals and one copy of every publication (article, book, brochure, handout, poster session, etc). Do not submit working copies, only final versions.
- Electronic publications: Text of all appropriate electronic publications and documents produced, edited, distributed or displayed by the committee or task force during the year being archived should be printed out and submitted in print format.
- One button, bookmark, poster, balloon, bag, etc. should be submitted.
Routine memoranda & announcements
- Include letters or memos (paper or e-mail) defining policies, outlining committee duties, explaining procedures, etc. Include original message and any replies.
1b. Guidelines for Organizing your Submissions to IS Archivist
Organizing Your Materials
- Folders: Materials must be organized into letter-size 8.5 x 11 inch file folders, with folders labeled as to their contents. In order to facilitate archiving for the IS Archivist, the ACRL office, and the ALA Archives staff, please use the following format for labeling folders:
Committee Name - Year - Topic of Materials in Folder
Examples:Note that the following folders should be submitted each year:
Research and Scholarship - 2007-08 - Agendas and Minutes
Membership - 2007-08 - Mentors at IS Dinner
Committee Name - Year - Membership Roster
Committee Name - Year - Agendas and Minutes
- Projects / Activities Folders: A folder should also be submitted for each project or activity undertaken by the committee. Project / Activity folders should be submitted each year of the project to ensure that complete records are kept. Important correspondence related to a project / activity should be included in the folder, in addition to any other related documents, publications, etc. If the materials about a particular project or activity are extensive, multiple folders should be submitted with appropriate labels.
Example: Committee Name - Year - Project Name - Component of Project
After ALA Annual through mid-August
- ALA Annual Meeting:
- IS New Chair Orientation - Vice-Chairemphasizes to new committee, task force and other working group chairs the importance of archiving and that details are outlined in the Archiving Information: Guidelines for Archival Record Retention page on the IS website.
- IS Advisory Council Meeting - IS Archivist reminds committee, task force and other working group chairs that all archival materials are due by the end of August.
- Committee, task force and other working group chairs compile, document, organize, and submit appropriate materials to the IS Archivist.
- IS Archivist reminds all committee, task force and other working group chairs, via the IS Advisory Listserv, to send in archival materials.
- IS Archivist collects and confirms receipt of materials sent by committee, task force and other working group chairs.
- IS Archivist reviews and creates an inventory of all items sent by committee, task force and other working group chairs.
- IS Archivist sends materials, with inventory and cover letter, to the Executive Director of ACRL, no later than the end of September. In order to do this, all chairs are reminded of the importance of submitting their materials to the IS Archivist in a timely manner. Being late with your materials makes the entire Instruction Section late.
- IS Archivist will confirm the receipt of materials with ACRL and ask what their expected date of transfer to the ALA Archives at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) will be. Revise the inventory document to note the date of receipt and expected date of transfer to the ALA Archives at UIUC.
- Send the revised inventory document to the IS Web site Administrators to post as a .pdf file on the IS Web site and notify the IS Advisory Council when it is available so committee, task force and other working group chairs can refer to it.
1d. Archive Inventories
Archive inventories are created annually by the IS Archivist to document the IS files currently housed at the ACRL Offices. ACRL processes the files, and may keep them for a few years before sending them to the ALA Archives at UIUC. Below is a current list of IS Archives Inventories.
- Instruction Section Subject File, 1979-2004, American Library Association Archives, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Materials to Discard
- Committee Annual Planning documents
- Minutes and agendas of meetings
- Working files including unfinished business correspondence
- Copies of important correspondence connected with a project or any correspondence that would illuminate the process or final outcome of activities. Personal notes and insignificant correspondence need not be retained. Contact the IS Archivist or the committee, task force or working group's Executive Committee liaison with any questions about correspondence retention.
- Appointment letters & forms
- Duplicate materials
- General correspondence
- Interim projects or reports copies
- Materials created and retained by other units
- Materials superseded by more complete reports
- Miscellaneous business records
- Personal notes, routine reminders or insignificant correspondence
- Questionnaire results, if published
Last update by Susan A. Vega Garcia, IS Archivist 2008-2009, and Merinda McLure, IS Secretary 2008-2009, June 2009