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... documenting the history of the University of Delaware

Records Management Program Procedures

1 Introduction


This manual serves several purposes. It replaces the original Records Management Manual – portions of which were written decades ago – with an updated and more comprehensive document. It serves as a training and education aid for records management contacts and all university personnel involved with recordkeeping activities. Finally, it should help makes the university’s records management practices more consistent and streamlined.


UARM is the official repository for university records that hold historical, legal, fiscal, or administrative value. The primary mission of UARM is to 1) identify, acquire, preserve, arrange, describe, and provide access to records that document the history of the University of Delaware, its constituent organizational units, its predecessor institutions, and the activities of its officers, faculty, employees, students, and alumni, and 2) to support the administrative, business, and operational needs of the university with regards to the management, use, and disposition of its records. To achieve those ends, UARM is comprised of two distinct yet complementary programs: the Archives Program and the Records Management Program.

The purpose of the Archives Program is 1) to manage, safeguard, and preserve collections of historical records and objects pertaining to the history of the University of Delaware and its predecessor institutions, 2) to provide access to those collections for researchers from within and outside of the university, and 3) to disseminate knowledge about the history of the university and its predecessor institutions.

The purpose of the Records Management Program is 1) to establish procedures and guidelines for the management and disposition of the university’s records by individual units, departments, and offices, 2) to create – in cooperation with university units, departments, and offices – retention schedules for use in managing the university’s records, 3) to identify vital records necessary for the continuous operation of the university or the recovery of operations in the event of an emergency, 4) to audit and measure compliance with records retention schedules, policy, and procedures by university units, departments, and offices, 5) to administer and coordinate physical records storage and destruction activities, and 6) to administer and coordinate digital records management activities.


This manual was written in 2021 and 2022, at a time when the Records Management Program was and continues to undergo substantial change and modernization. Specifically, a new university wide archives and records management policy is being developed and reviewed, and work on a new comprehensive university records retention schedule is planned. In light of this, several portions of this document will be subject to significant and perhaps sudden change, which will be communicated to records management contacts as best as possible. It was felt important to provide a new version of the guidance for how the Records Management Program currently operates and intersects with the work of the university and its personnel even if those changes may occur in the relative near future.