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Records Management at UNC School of the Arts

This guide provides information and guidance for UNCSA employees with records management responsibilities.

Dealing with Digital Records

Records in digital formats are subject to the same retention and disposition instructions as records in any other format in accordance with the UNC General Records Retention Schedule.

Digital Records Tips and Strategies

Born-digital Records

The term "born-digital" is used by archivists to describe records that were created and used in digital form. This is different from "digitized" records, or paper/physical records that have been scanned. When we discuss digital records, we generally mean born-digital records.

Organizing and Storing Digital Records

While there is no one "best" way to organize your digital records, a good strategy is to be proactive and consistent in using digital folders, and to use descriptive file and folder names that can be understood by others. If you share files and folders with others in your office, establish folder and file naming conventions that are used office-wide.

You should use file formats that best suit the work of your department or office. While we don't require specific file formats for records that will be transferred to the Archives, we may not be able to accept or provide access to file types related to proprietary or specialized software, or which are password-protected.

It is important that department records are stored on modern, up-to-date storage devices, and are backed up regularly, to avoid loss. If you have important files stored on external storage media (e.g. floppy disks, CDs, external hard drives), you should consider moving those files to a more stable storage system. Archives staff and/or Campus IT can provide you with guidance on digital storage.


Because the UNC General Records Retention Schedule considers email to be a type of correspondence, it should be evaluated for retention in the same way as you would evaluate a paper memo or letter. While certain kinds of emails are important to keep - any email containing unique and significant information about the work of your department or institution - others can be discarded: emails with transitory information only, such as meeting scheduling or university-wide announcements. It can be helpful to delete transitory emails promptly, and to use descriptively-labeled folders to sort emails that need to be retained.