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UNCW Records Management

This is a guide for all UNCW employees on records management.

About University Archives

University Archives collects, preserves, and provides access to historically significant records of UNC Wilmington. The collection documents the history of the University of North Carolina Wilmington since its founding as Wilmington College in 1947. To learn more about University Archives and search the collections:

What to Send to the University Archives

In addition to guiding University staff on when to discard records, the University Archives collects and preserves university records of permanent and historical value. The Records Schedule provides some guidance as to what series of records are should be retained permanently and transferred to the University Archives. In general, this is a very small portion of the records that you create or use in your office. 

Examples of institutional records that are preserved by University Archives: 

  • Meeting minutes and agendas
  • Correspondence (email or printed) that documents major decisions or functions in your department
  • Final reports and documents from committee work and projects
  • Strategic planning and policy development

Life of a Permanent Record

Once permanent records are transferred to the University Archives, we do a quick review of the transfer to check that everything you intended to transfer is present and in the order described in the transfer form. If there are additional materials present, or if we have questions about some of the materials, we will contact you for more information.   

We then begin the process of making these records available for researchers: 

  • If necessary, we refolder or rebox the records for preservation purposes. If the records are digital, we move the records to secure storage.
  • If you identify any of the records you transferred as containing confidential information, we review and address those records.
  • Collections are stored in University Archives in a secure, climate-controlled environment. Library Systems assists in digitally preserving born-digital records. 
  • We arrange and describe collections and create online finding aids so that people can discover what's in University Archives. 

Once the records are described, researchers can view the collection guide online, request materials, and use them in the reading room at the Center for Southeast North Carolina Archives and History, Randall Library.

How to Transfer Records

You may have records in your office that should be transferred to the University Archives for historical purposes. You will need to do some review to prepare records for transfer. The following steps will get you ready to work with us on transferring records to University Archives:

  1. We can provide boxes and folders to aid you in this process.
  2. Survey the records to determine what you have.
  3. Determine what records are scheduled for permanent retention in the University Archives. Remove duplicates and records that are not scheduled for permanent retention. (See Using The Records Retention Schedule)
  4. Flag permanent records that contain confidential or sensitive information.
  5. House all files in folders and standard size (12″ x 15″ x 10″) boxes.
    • Remove hanging folders, as these crush the box and damage the files with time.
    • Move records from binders into folders, copying any title from the binder onto the new folders in pencil.
    • Replace damaged folders, copying the label from the damaged folder onto the new folder in pencil.
  6. For digital records, contact University Archives staff to discuss preparation of the files or storage devices for transfer.
  7. Schedule a consultation with University Archives staff. After the consultation, we'll provide some paperwork and arrange transfer of these items. 
  8. We can provide boxes and folders to aid you in the process.