Historical Value

The correspondence of Benjamin Franklin, the journals of Lewis and Clark, and the Manhattan Project notebook are all examples of records with historical value.  They’re the stuff that history textbooks are filled with, and without question, these records significantly inform our understanding of U.S. history. How do we determine if records are historical, though, when…

Deep Freeze Warning

Happy New Year everyone! And with the New Year, many of us are about to experience a prolonged deep freeze. During last year’s coldest weather, a number of government offices in the mountain counties experienced plumbing issues. Before the frigid temps move in, double-check to make sure that you don’t have records stored in locations…

File Folders in Wire Organizers

The List of Document Types in Records Descriptions

When analysts write records retention and disposition schedules for North Carolina state and local governments, we write records series descriptions to help you categorize your records and apply the right disposition instructions. Records series descriptions include the records’ business function and, often, a list of document types found in the records series. With most records…

Microfilm Reel

Silver and Diazo

The State Archives of North Carolina provides microfilming of the minutes of major decision-making boards and commissions in state agencies and local governments. Once the minutes are filmed, we will store the “silver halide” original in our security vault. When we make a copy of the microfilm for state agencies or local governments to use in…

ActiveRecordsManagement

A Case for Active Management of Public Records

Circulating on listservs for records managers and archivists is this story from the Jackson Free Press of Jackson, Mississippi. A curious reporter photographed neglected records on the fourth floor of the Hinds County Courthouse. Water damage, dirt, poor shelving, and general disorganization are visible. This is certainly embarrassing to the Hinds County Courthouse staff. These undoubtedly…

Video Surveillance as Records

The North Carolina Local Government Information Systems Association (NCLGISA) maintains a listserv that I monitor. Recently, a question was posed by a faculty member of the UNC School of Government about video surveillance policies.  The Government Records Section of the State Archives is in the process of updating the General Schedule for State Agency Records; we…

Retention of Job Applications

How long should job applications, resumes, letters of reference, and other records submitted by applicants for vacant positions, not to mention unsolicited applications and resumes, be retained? Though job applications would seemingly lose value after the hiring decision, these records are good to have if the hiring process is restarted, or, in a worst case…