GLOSSARY OF
RECORDS MANAGEMENT TERMS

ACTIVE RECORD - Belongs to a record category necessary for the normal operation of a program or area; normally referred to at least once a month.

ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS - Support the everyday office functions of a program or area. They deal primarily with space, equipment & personnel requirements. May be copies of original records maintained by other areas (i.e. time sheets, purchase orders). Usually, they are valuable for short periods (1-7 years) and have no archival value.

ARCHIVES - The office that collects, retains and makes available to users, records of permanent value to the institution.

ARCHIVAL RECORD - A record selected for permanent retention due to historical, legal or fiscal importance. Documents a major event in the life of the organization and are transferred to the archives.

CONFIDENTIAL DISPOSITION - A destruction process which maintains the confidentiality of the record.

CUSTODIAN - The individual or group designated as responsible for one or more records.

DATE RANGE - Inclusive dates of each record category.

If an active record, omit the final date, i.e., 1985 -

If an inactive record, i.e., 1977 - 1985

INACTIVE RECORD - Belongs to a record category which is referred to infrequently. (e.g. records in dead storage)

OPERATIONAL RECORDS - Reflect the mandate or purpose of a program/area.Examples are original minutes of meetings, reports, policy statements,procedures, publications.

ORIGINAL RECORD - The primary/official record. It may be kept in one of a variety of formats (disk, paper, tape). Records which have been transferred to a secondary medium for storage purposes may be deemed to be original.

RECORD CATEGORY - A group of related or identical records which are used and filed together, have a common purpose, and governed by the same retention period (i.e. Purchase orders, financial, personnel).

RECORD CONDITION - The physical condition of the records. Good, Poor, (water damaged, mice damaged)

RECORD MEDIA - The type of media that the information is physically stored on. E.g. Paper, photographs/slides, microfilm, microfiche, audio tapes, video tapes, magnetic disks, magnetic hard drive.

RECORD TITLE - The name of the files, e.g., Faculty Council Meetings

RECORD TYPE - Refers to the distinction between administrative & operational records.

RETENTION PERIOD - The length of time records must be kept before they may be disposed of. May be governed by legislation.

RETENTION SCHEDULE - A timetable which indicates the length of time records must be kept and specifies their method of disposition.

TRANSFER DATE - Using the Expected Media Lifetimes, record the date (MM/YY) that the record must be transferred to a new medium to ensure continued legibility of the information.

VITAL RECORDS - Records which are essential to the continuation or resumption of an organisation. They are necessary to define its legal and financial position (i.e. documents of incorporation).


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URL:http://www-fhs.mcmaster.ca/recman/gloss.html ~ CONTACT: mckeage@mcmaster.ca ~ UPDATED: Sept. 6/01