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Records Management

What is Records Management?

All College records are the property of Bowdoin College and are subject to records retention schedules that dictate what records must be kept and for how long. Records management is the practice of managing records throughout their life cycle and according to records management schedules. For further information see the "Records Authority Statement," approved by the Executive Committee of the Governing Boards of Bowdoin College, June 10, 1994.

Why is records management important?

Effective records management ensures that college records of enduring legal, administrative and historical value will be preserved and made accessible to all who need them, and that unnecessary records will be systematically destroyed.

What is a College record?

All recorded information and data, regardless of physical format, that are created or received in the course of official College business. See our Records Management Glossary for more information and a records related glossary.

What are retention schedules?

Retention schedules are 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 confidential destruction, and stipulate what access restrictions apply to their use. Retention periods and ultimate disposition for these records are based on legal, administrative and institutional considerations.

Where can I find retention schedules that apply to my records?

All current retention schedules are listed here.  Please call the Archivist (x3374) if you have questions about how the schedules apply to your records, or if you need a site visit to determine a new records schedule.

When can I dispose of confidential records that are no longer needed?

Confidential destruction may be scheduled if:

How do I dispose of confidential records?

Call the Archives (x3288 or x3374). The College has a contract with a commercial service (currently Iron Mountain) to have sensitive records disposed of confidentially and the Archives coordinates and schedules this service.

Important things to know:

Who should I contact with records management questions?

Call Caroline Moseley, Archivist, for any questions about College records, to set up an office visit for records review, or to arrange a confidential destruction pickup.

Special Collections & Archives reference (x3288): for immediate assistance.