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University Archives|American Heritage Center

Preparing and Transferring Records

Guidelines to Follow


The University of Wyoming Archives preserves significant official records documenting the history and activities of the institution and its schools, departments, programs, and offices. Because of the vast amount of records (in both paper and electronic form) that is created at an institution of this size and the content of the information contained in those records, only a small percentage of records can be preserved. Accordingly, some general guidelines have been established to ensure that records of importance are preserved, but not records of short-term importance.

The following types of non-current, inactive records are commonly transferred to the University Archives:

  • Constitution and by-laws, minutes and proceedings, and list of officers of University Board of Trustees from their office of origin.
  • Office Files: correspondence and memoranda (including e-mail) of a school's or department's principal administrators relating to the policies, curriculum development, and operations of that unit.
  • Reports, such as annual reports, accreditation reports, self-studies, planning documents, and reports on special topics.
  • Proposals for new programs and facilities, and planning documents.
  • Publications such as bulletins, course schedules, newsletters, programs, and promotional literature.
  • Minutes of meetings with accompanying reports and documents.
  • Organizational charts.
  • A representative sample of photographs and audio-visual records relating to the activities of the unit and its personnel.

The following types of records can be discarded when they are no longer administratively or legally required:

  • Office copies of student and personnel records, including faculty dossiers, annual evaluations, promotion and tenure files, and search committee files. NOTE: These records are convenience copies of administrators and not the official University personnel file.
  • Routine financial and administrative records, such as requisitions, travel expenses vouchers, payroll time sheets, accounting reports, etc.
  • Drafts of most reports and correspondence (Exceptions: for major planning documents, save preliminary discussion documents, background reports which served as the basis for different sections, and drafts which contain substantive differences from the final versions.)
  • Routine acknowledgments, circulars, notifications, requests, and transmittals.
  • Multiple copies of a single document.
  • Blank forms.
  • Convenience copies of publications, reports, memos, etc., for which your office was not the originator or the office of record.
  • Copies of widely circulated documents such as Trustee minutes; Faculty Senate minutes; memoranda to Deans, Directors, and Department Heads; procedure manuals, and memoranda to all faculty unless your office is the office of origin for the document.
  • External publications (external to the department/unit).

Procedures for Preparing and Transferring Records


Please note, the University Archives does not accept even significant records that are judged to have only short-term value; that is, the archives is not a temporary records center. The University Archives only accepts material judged by the University Archivist as having long-term historical value.

Consult Claudia Thompson to ensure that your records are scheduled for transfer to the archives. Annual transfers of scheduled records are preferred. Please provide the following information:

  • What types of records you have for transfer (i.e. subject files, committee records, personnel files, etc.)
  • If a records schedule for your department has been completed.
  • How much you have to transfer (i.e. number of file drawers of records).

Preparing records for transfer


In the event that a large volume (50+ boxes) of records is to be transferred, it’s best to have the records examined before they are sent and archives staff may want to participate in packing them for shipment.

  • Remove material identified above as being of short-term value.
  • Remove materials from ring binders and hanging folders and place in file folders; maintain the original order of the records. Transfer information from the ring binders and hanging folders to the file folders; if more than one folder is needed label as, for example, "folder 1 of 2," "folder 2 of 2," etc.
  • Fill out an inventory form and a transfer form and send with the boxes.
  • Box the records scheduled for transfer.
  • The records will need to be boxed properly. Please use boxes measuring 10"x12"x15" (see picture below as an example)
  • Maintain the filing arrangement of the records (i.e. alphabetic, numeric, chronological, subject).
  • Keep the records in their original file folders and ensure that the files are clearly labeled; include span dates. (Example: Space Planning, 1983-1990).
  • Do not over-pack or under-pack the boxes.
  • Clearly label the boxes.
PLEASE NOTE: Limited staff prevents the University Archives being able to assist with boxing and preparing inventory sheets for most records. Similarly, University Archives is not able to accept transfers of records without accompanying inventory forms and transfer forms.

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