Library and Archives

Records Management

Records management applies to all records regardless of format, whether in paper, electronic, or other media.

Policy & Forms

University Policy & Forms on Records Management

View these University policies and forms about records management.

Basic Tips

Basic Tips on Records Management

Consult the Records Retention Schedule for guidance regarding records in your office.

The Master Record Holder listed on the retention schedule is the person/office responsible for the official copy of a record. If you are the Master Record Holder, you are responsible for maintaining the records for the period stated in the schedule.

If you are not the Master Record Holder for any records in your office, you should keep those unofficial copies no longer than 2 years. Some examples of commonly held unofficial copies are:

  • Financial records: purchase orders; invoices; reimbursement requests and documentation
  • Employment records: personnel action forms, annual reviews, and other personnel file copies; time cards; student employment certifications -- Contact Human Resources with questions
  • Student records: transcripts, grades, course schedules, advising files -- Contact the Registrar with questions
  • Meeting minutes and agendas

Records with a retention of "permanent" should not be destroyed or discarded.

Consult the Archives and Special Collections about possible transfer of permanent records to the Archives: | 651.690.6553


Records Management FAQs

What is Records Management?

Records management (RM) is the "field of management responsible for the efficient and systematic control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use, and disposition of records, including the processes for capturing and maintaining evidence of and information about business activities and transactions in the form of records."
ISO 15489-1; 3.16

Vision for Records Management at St. Catherine University

“… to ensure that necessary records are adequately protected and maintained, that records no longer needed are adequately destroyed at the appropriate time, and that the history of the institution is preserved. Records management and the related retention policies apply to all records regardless of format, whether these are in paper, electronic, or other media.”
Records Management Policy, April 9, 2009—Purpose

Where Can I Access the University's Records Management Policy?

The Records Management Policy was approved by the Board of Trustees in May 2009. The policy is available above in the Policy & Forms section and through KateWay on the My Job tab (a link to the policy is in the Governing Documents box near the bottom of the column on the left).

Why Should I Care about Records Management?

Records are an important asset of the University and contain valuable, sometimes vital, information.

Benefits of RM to St. Catherine University

Manages Risks

  • Ensures legal and regulatory compliance
  • Minimizes risk of litigation
  • Protects University interests, as well as the interests of employees, students, and other stakeholders

Manages Resources

  • Fosters management of University information resources throughout their lifecycle from creation to destruction or transfer to the University Archives
  • Lowers operating costs
  • Enables business continuity
  • Enables more informed decision making
  • Preserves University history and institutional memory

How RM Applies to You

Manages Risk

  • Minimizes your risk of personal liability
  • Fosters recognition you have a responsibility to protect the University

Manages Resources

  • Enables you to gain control over the information in your office and department
  • Enables increased organization, efficiency, and productivity in your work
  • Enables more informed decision making
  • Fosters awareness you are the keeper of institutional memory for the records in your control

What is a Record?

Institutional records are documentary material, regardless of physical form or media, generated or received in transacting the business of St. Catherine University. These may include information of a historical nature and can be produced internally or externally. Records exist in many forms. The term “records” does not include books, newspapers, or other reference materials generated outside the institution. Records do include personal file copies regardless of location when the records meet the description above.
Records Management Policy, April 9, 2009—Definitions

Records can be in any medium—paper, electronic, magnetic tape, or microforms. Electronic records can be stored in a variety of locations and software, such as shared network drives, Banner, LotusNotes, web pages, CDs/DVDs, etc. Records management applies to them all.

Examples of records are:

  • Departmental Records: key activities of all units or functions
  • Project Records: intra-departmental, inter-departmental, or university-wide committees, councils, or projects
  • Operational Records: day-to-day activities of all units or functions
  • Personal Records: employee activities outside St. Catherine University
  • Department-specific Records: activities unique to your unit or function

What is a Records Retention Schedule?

Records retention is the process by which records are maintained for specified periods of time in order to fulfill any business, legal, or regulatory requirements. The length of time to keep individual categories of records (called record series) and how to dispose of them is listed in a document called a records retention schedule.

Where Can I Access the University's Records Retention Schedule?

St. Catherine University's Records Retention Schedule is located above in the Policy & Forms section. The retention schedule is currently being revised and updated by the Records Management Oversight Committee. The following information for each record series is included in the schedule:

  • Record Series Name
  • Master Record Holder: the person or office responsible for maintaining the official copy of records in the series for the stated retention period. Contact the Master Record Holder for questions or requests regarding records in their control.
  • Retention Period: the length of time records in the series must be kept.
  • Disposition: what should be done with the records at the end of the retention period. Only records of potential archival value are currently designated. The University Archivist should be consulted about possible transfer of these records to the Archives. Other options (confidential destruction, recycling, etc.) will be added by RMOC in the future.

What is the Retention for Unofficial Copies of Records?

As set by the Records Management Policy, copies of records in offices other than the Master Record Holder are unofficial copies and usually are kept for no longer than 2 years. Unofficial copies are never to be retained longer than the retention period for the official copy.

Transferring Records

Transferring Records to the Archives

The Archives serves as the institutional memory of St. Catherine University and includes records of permanent value related to its history and development. Records transferred to the Archives should document the main functions of the University and its departments, and how those functions were determined and implemented.

They should be able to show:

  • What the University did
  • When, where, and how it did it
  • Why it did it in a particular way
  • Who were the key staff involved and why
  • What were the results
  • What impact it had and who was affected

What Records Should be Transferred to the University Archives?

  • Accreditation self-studies, reports, reviews, and supporting documentation, for the University and individual programs
  • Constitution and by-laws, minutes, annual reports, correspondence, reports and planning documents, member lists, and other significant documents of the Board of Trustees and its committees
  • Annual reports, correspondence (other than routine thank-yous and acknowledgements), policy statements, planning documents, reports, speeches, publicity materials, business files, memoranda, and other significant documents of the President, Vice Presidents, Deans, and Associate Deans offices
  • Minutes, memoranda, reports, and constitution/by-laws/charge of all academic, administrative, and university committees, councils, and task forces, such as University Council, Deans' Council, and the Faculty and its committees. Also strategic plans and any other documents related to policy development and implementation
  • Annual reports, correspondence, policy statements, reports and planning documents, department meeting minutes, final grant reports, and other significant documents of academic departments, programs, centers, institutes, etc.
  • Annual reports, correspondence, policy statements, reports and planning documents, and other significant documents of all administrative offices
  • Records of student organizations and governance, including: constitution and bylaws; minutes; lists of officers and members; correspondence; flyers, posters, or other materials documenting events; publications and publicity materials; and identified visual materials such as photographs, scrapbooks, video, etc.
  • Publications distributed in the name of the University, its departments, or programs including: catalogs, newspapers, directories, magazines, handbooks, manuals, newsletters, brochures, programs, posters, calendars, flyers.
  • Photographs and audio-visual materials that document the history of St. Catherine. All materials must be dated and identified (event or occasion, people depicted, etc.). Photos of buildings and of faculty and significant administrative staff are of particular value. To be retained by the University Archives, photographs must contain enough information and visual interest such that they could be considered for publication.
  • Artifacts and memorabilia (of reasonable size) of St. Catherine, such as banners, posters, t-shirts, buttons/pins, etc.
  • Biographical information of faculty, administrators, and staff. Biographical files should include: a dated head shot photograph; a dated curriculum vitae or resume; any additional information as to scholarly interests and pursuits; obituary.
  • Publications produced by faculty members during their tenure at St. Catherine. This may include books, journal articles, and other scholarly or creative work.
  • Personal papers of retiring faculty and high-level administrators, or of any employee who is known nationally in their field, documenting their career at St. Catherine and their scholarly research, publications, or creative activities.

What Records Should Not be Transferred to the University Archives?

Operational Records

Day-to-day activities of all units or functions

  • Correspondence or other files documenting routine activities such as information requests, work orders, travel arrangements, room reservations, catering orders, etc.
  • Correspondence not personally addressed or not related to University business
  • Routine financial records such as invoices, receipts, purchase orders
  • Monthly budget reports
  • Raw statistical data

Unidentified Audio-Visual Materials

Unidentified, undated, or miscellaneous candid photographs, audio/video tapes, CDs, DVDs, and other items.

Reference Copies

Documents distributed to the University community, but not created by your office. The originating office is responsible for sending a copy to the Archives.

Draft Copies

Preliminary versions of plans, reports, working papers, etc.

External Publications

Publications and brochures created outside the University but kept in your office for reference purposes. An exception may be made for external publications in your personal records that are collected as background for your own research or professional activities.

Blank Stationary, Envelopes, Forms, etc.

Never transfer these to the Archives.

Records Transfer Guidelines

These procedures help minimize physical damage to the records and ensure they can be retrieved easily following transfer. These guidelines do not apply to electronic records.

A Records Transfer Form (listed above in the Policy & Forms section) must be completed for all materials sent to the Archives. It can be included with the records or emailed to the Archives,


Small amounts of records can be sent in an intra-campus envelope. If transferring larger amounts, use standard size records cartons (12" x 15" x 10" high) such as banker's boxes. Boxes of different size may be difficult to place on Archives shelves and/or too heavy for staff to manage. Follow the instructions below.

Fill boxes:

  • Maintain the original order of the files—Place folders in boxes from front to back in the order they were filed or otherwise stored.
  • Label all folders—All files should be in folders with legible labels and the folders should be packed facing the front of the box.
  • Do not use hanging folders—If materials are loose in hanging files, place them in a regular folder and label the folder.
  • You may combine records series in the same box—It is not necessary to use a new box for each series or category of records; Separate different series with a labeled sheet of paper.
  • Do not overfill boxes—Boxes should be full but not tight. Leave an inch of space at the back. If the last box is not full, pad it with crumpled sheets of scratch paper.

Prepare boxes for transfer:

  • Create a box inventory—Make a list of all files in each box. Place the inventory in the first box, on top of the folders. Keep a copy for your records.
  • Put the lid on the box but do not tape it shut.
  • Label the boxes—On the short end, label the boxes with your department name, the date, and a consecutive number (1 of 5, 2 of 5, etc.).

Transfer boxes to the University Archives:

  • Contact the Archives so we know to expect the delivery: | x6553 or x6599
  • Place a work order with Facilities to have the boxes picked up and delivered to the Archives, CDC 61.


Contact Archives

St. Catherine University Library, CdC 62
2004 Randolph Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105