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Records Management and the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Presented by Jennifer Wright Smithsonian Institution Archives November 14, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Records Management and the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Presented by Jennifer Wright Smithsonian Institution Archives November 14, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Records Management and the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Presented by Jennifer Wright Smithsonian Institution Archives November 14, 2008

2 Goals of the Presentation Introduce the Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA) and its Records Management Services Discuss the CHNDM Records Disposition Schedule Describe the Processes for Discarding, Transferring, and Retrieving Records Answer Questions

3 SIAs Mission Appraise, acquire and preserve records of the Institution Assist in the proper disposal of records Offer a range of reference, research, and records services Create products and services which promote understanding of the Smithsonian and its history

4 SIAs Authority – SD 501 All documents created or received by employees of SI in the course of official business are records of the Institution, and none may be disposed of except in accord [with guidelines] established by the Smithsonian Archives.

5 Records Management Services Help identify what to keep and what to discard Create records disposition schedules Assist you in organizing your records – advice and file plans Maintain and care for records Provide access to records Destroy records according to established schedules

6 What is a Record? Any official recorded information, regardless of medium or characteristics, created, received, and maintained by a Smithsonian museum, office, or employee Records include paper files as well as: –Word Processing Files –Film, Video, and Audio Recordings – –Spreadsheets and Databases –Photographs –Websites –PowerPoint Presentations

7 Appraising Records Decisions about which records to keep or discard are based upon: –Function of the office –Which records best document that function –Where the most complete set of those records are located –Existing guidelines established by SIA, other SI offices, or outside institutions Appraisal decisions are not based on media types

8 CHNDM Records Disposition Schedule Created based on a museum-wide records survey in 1999 and signed by CHNDM and SIA administration Gives guidance on how long to keep certain types of records and what to do with them when they are no longer needed Includes general schedule for records commonly found in most offices and individual schedules for records specific to each office

9 Record Schedule Structure Consists of 6 columns –Series Title –Series Description –Office of Record –Retention Period –Source –Disposition

10 Series Title and Description Series –A group of records that serve the same function and are often filed together Series Title –A descriptive title used to identify a series of records Series Description –A detailed description of the types of records that are included in this series.

11 Office of Record Office of Record is responsible for maintaining the official and most complete set of the record Office of Record may be your own office, another CHNDM office, or another SI office If you keep copies of records, you are probably not the office of record for that series

12 Retention Period Permanent Records –Historical, enduring value –Best document your offices activities Temporary Records –Records of short-term value –Records for which you are not the Office of Record –Administrative, routine, housekeeping functions –Information files Permanent/Temporary Records –Records with short-term value that are interfiled with records of permanent value and need to be weeded before transfer

13 Appraisal Source Documentation of legal authority or appraisal decision on which retention decisions are based –SIA –National Archives and Records Administration General Records Schedules –Policies and procedures written by other SI and federal offices

14 Records Disposition Instructions for the maintenance or transfer of records once they become inactive (no longer needed to conduct current business) Disposition information instructs units in how long to keep records in this series and what to do when that time period is over

15 Transferring Permanent Records Contact SIA with the series and quantity of records to be transferred or to discuss a transfer of electronic records Ensure that all records are in labeled folders (remove from hanging folders and binders) Number the boxes and create a list of folder titles within each box Place a copy of the folder list within each box the folder list and the mailing date to SIA

16 Discarding Records Three methods for discarding records –Discard/Destroy on-site –Send directly to a commercial shredding company –Transfer to SIAs Records Center to be destroyed Files with SSNs, personal contact information, account numbers, or other sensitive information must be destroyed (shredded) Electronic records containing sensitive information can be destroyed via OCIO

17 Transferring Temporary Records Any type of temporary record can be transferred to SIAs Records Center SIA will provide mailing labels and any sturdy box may be used to ship the records At transfer, a destruction date will be assigned SIA will ensure the timely destruction of records Destruction will be suspended pending investigations or legal actions that might bear upon the records Staff from your office will be able to access the records at any time until the destruction date

18 Records Retrieval After the records transfer, SIA will provide you with the accession number and, for permanent records, a copy of the folder list and will place another copy on the SIA website with full-text search To access your records, contact the SIA Reference Team Most records are available for use in hours Records may be used in the SIA Reading Room

19 Contact Information General questions, records appraisals, and records transfers: Jennifer Wright, or Technical assistance for electronic records: Ricc Ferrante, or Reference Services: or SIA Website:


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