Skip to main content

Glossary of Records Related Terms

College record:
All recorded information and data, regardless of physical form or characteristics, that are created or received in the course of official College business and that document the administrative transactions and activities of any College office or employee, including those by or with teaching faculty and students in the performance of their official administrative College obligations, constitute College records and are the property of Bowdoin College. Examples include: official correspondence; committee minutes and reports; transcripts; grade books; student coursework and examinations; financial data; personnel and search committee files; College publications; recordings of official College events; policies; email and voicemail communications related to College business.
Personal record:
All recorded information and data that are created or received independent of official administrative College business constitute personal records and are the property of the holder of those materials or data. Examples include: teaching materials; scholarly research; unsanctioned student publications; recordings of informal events; email and voicemail unrelated to College business.
Mixed records:
Recorded information and data that co-mingle "College records" with either personal records or official records of another institution or agency require defined custody to establish whether or not Bowdoin College shall claim stewardship over such mixed records. In any event, those portions of the mixed records that meet the definition of "College records" are subject to the information policies of Bowdoin College. Examples include: collaborative projects involving Bowdoin faculty and College administrative units; CBB consortial ventures.
Active records:
Records required for the ongoing business activities of the record holder; these records carry the potential for frequent and timely consultation.
Inactive records:
Records of administrative value but not essential to the ongoing business activities of the record holder; these records may carry auditing, legal or other stipulations that require their retention but only occasional consultation.
Archival records:
Records of enduring value to the College that are designated for permanent retention once their active or inactive cycle has passed. Archival records in most physical forms, including paper-based texts, photographs and magnetic media, are normally transferred to the custody of the College Archives for storage, preservation, access, and retrieval. Some electronic records may be designated as "Archival" and in the custodial control of the College Archives but may reside on storage devices outside the physical confines of College Archives facilities.
Copy of record:
Sometimes thought of as the "master copy," a single copy of a document maintained by its office of origin or designated custodian that is designated as the official College record of a transaction or activity; all other copies are duplicate copies, held for convenience, and should be destroyed in the specified manner as soon as their usefulness has ended.
Office of origin:
Department, administrative unit or designated College officer responsible for the creation or ongoing custody of a College "copy of record" prior to its scheduled destruction or transfer to the Archives.
Records retention schedules:
Documents created by the Archives, in consultation with the appropriate College officer(s), that define particular groups of College records, indicate when those records become inactive, specify whether or not they should be transferred to the Archives for temporary or permanent storage and whether they are subject to general or confidential destruction, and stipulate what access restrictions apply to their use.