Records Management & Archives Handbook: Records & Non-records


Marywood University follows separate procedures for managing records and non-records. Records—both record copies and reference copies (“other copies”)—are retained and disposed of, according to authorized records retention schedules.

Departments should not interfile non-records with records or to manage them as such. Non-record materials interfiled with records take up expensive office space, slow the process of record retrieval, increase the occurrence of lost records, and slow the processing of records transferred to the Archives.

Electronic records are as official as their paper equivalents and are subject to the same legal requirements.


Records are recorded information, regardless of medium or characteristics, made or received by Marywood, that is evidence of the University’s operations, and has administrative, fiscal, historical, informational, intrinsic, and/or legal value, requiring its retention for a specific period of time. Records are University property and thus cannot be destroyed, given or taken away, or sold without complying with all University and legal requirements related to the records. Records are books, documents, maps, drawings, photographs, letters, papers, and any other thing on which information is recorded or stored by graphic, electronic or mechanical means, exclusive of an individual's personal records, e.g., a faculty member's roll books or personal research notes.

Electronic Records are records stored on electronic storage media that can be readily accessed or changed. Some examples of electronic records are e-mail messages; all types of files and folders stored on a computer’s hard drive, floppy disks, CD-ROM, DVD, and microfilm; and files and folders that have been copied to the University’s administrative server.

Reference Copies (“Other Copies”) are any copies of a record in addition to the record copy, usually made for reference purposes.

Non-records are materials of immediate value only. They are not required to be retained and therefore do not appear on any records retention schedule.

Some examples of non-records are:

  • Supplies
  • Stocks of publications and blank forms kept for supply purposes only
  • Superseded vendor catalogs and brochures
  • Notes or dictation tapes that have been transcribed
  • Drafts that do not represent significant steps in the preparation of University records
  • Materials neither made nor received in connection with the functions of the department



  1. Before filing any materials, the department decides whether the materials are records or non-records.
  2. If an item is a University record, then the department manages and retains the record according to its authorized records retention schedule.
  3. If an item is a non-record, the department may dispose of it when the non-record is no longer useful to the department. However, non-records are not to be interfiled with University records.
  4. If records and non-records have been interfiled, the department must conduct a file purge to separate them and dispose of obsolete, non-record materials.