University records in digital formats are subject to the same retention and disposition instructions as records in other formats. The important factor in records management is information not format. Digital records should be evaluated using the General Records Retention Schedule.
The following information is general guidance to help you understand more about digital records management. Please contact us to discuss your specific situation in more detail.
It can be challenging to keep records of any format organized, but digital records often feel particularly challenging because it is so easy to make copies and share files in different locations. We also tend to work collaboratively with cloud based documents and shared storage which can lead to many different organization styles converging and conflicting online. Unfortunately there is no standard, easy way to keep digital records well organized, but there are some strategies that can help if used consistently.
How do I know if an email is a record?
It can be overwhelming to manage email records. The following strategies may be helpful:
If your email is scheduled to be sent to the University Archives, we'll work with you on the transfer process. In general, you'll export the selected folders and/or emails from Outlook for transfer.
UNC websites and UNC social media accounts are considered university records and many will be preserved for historical purposes.
The University Archives uses a service called Archive-It to archive UNC websites and some social media content. If your department is creating or significantly changing a website or social media account, please contact us by email. If we haven't archived your unit's website, please email us to nominate a website for archiving.
As dictated by ITS policies, employees will lose access to email and OneDrive after leaving employment. It is important that unique departmental records are stored in or moved to shared departmental storage as appropriate. Avoid having records requiring retention siloed in staff OneDrive accounts long term.
What digital records should we send to the archives?
I found old storage devices (like CDs and floppy disks) in my office, but don't have the hardware to access the disks to review the files. Can the Archives help?
My department is getting a new content management system or document management software. Do we need to manage those records? Do you have advice for selecting a system?
Does the Archives require digital files be in specific formats for transfer?