• Archiving—1. procedure for transferring information from an active file to an inactive file, storage medium, or facility; 2. act of creating a backup copy of computer files (1)
  • Backup—1. process of duplicating information primarily for protection in case the original is lost or destroyed; 2. a copy of the record (1)
  • Disposition—action taken with regard to records as determined through their appraisal, including transfer to storage, destruction, or preservation for archival purposes (1)
  • Document—1. recorded information regardless of medium or characteristics, frequently used interchangeably with record; 2. single record item, such as a letter, memorandum, form, or report consisting of one or more pages (1)
  • FERPA—Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (2)
  • FOIA—Freedom of Information Act (2)
  • General retention schedule—schedule that specifies retention periods for designated record series, regardless of the particular unit where the records are maintained (3)
  • HIPAA—Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, Public Law 104-191 (2)
  • Historical value—1. usefulness or significance of records for understanding the past; 2. importance or usefulness of records that justifies their continued preservation because of the enduring administrative, legal, fiscal, or evidential information they contain; archival value (2)
  • In-Office Records Destruction form─ form used to document destruction of university records that are not transferred to the University Archives and will be destroyed by university personnel in an office/department
  • Metadata—data describing the structure, data elements, interrelationships, and other characteristics of electronic records; record profile data (1)
  • Migration—moving from one electronic system to another, usually in upgrading hardware or software without having to undergo a major conversion or reinput data (1)
  • Nonrecord—1. item not usually included within the scope of official records (e.g., convenience file, day file, reference materials, drafts); 2. document not required to be retained and, therefore, not appearing on a retention schedule (1)
  • Permanent value—ongoing usefulness or significance of records, based on the administrative, legal, fiscal, evidential, or historical information they contain that justifies their continued preservation (2)
  • Public record—any writing prepared, owned, used, in the possession of, or retained by a public body in the performance of an official function from the time it is created (4)
  • Record—recorded information, regardless of medium or characteristics, made or received by an organization that is evidence of its operations and has value requiring its retention for a specific period of time (1)
  • Record series—group of identical or related records normally used and filed as a unit that permits evaluation as a unit for retention scheduling purposes (1)
  • Records appraisal—process of evaluating records based on their current operational, regulatory, legal, fiscal, and historical significance; their information value; their arrangement; and their relationship to other records (1)
  • Records destruction—1. disposal of records with no further value by incineration, maceration, pulping, or shredding; 2. definitive obliteration of records beyond any possible reconstitution (1)
  • Records management—systematic control of all records from their creation or receipt through their processing, distribution, organization, storage, and retrieval to their ultimate disposition (1)
  • Retention period—time period that records must be kept according to operational, historical, legal, regulatory, and fiscal requirements (1)
  • Retention schedule—comprehensive list of record series titles, indicating length of time each is to be maintained; may include retention in active office areas or inactive storage areas and when and if such series may be destroyed or formally transferred to another entity, such as archives, for historical preservation (1)
  • Specialized retention schedule—custom-prepared retention schedule for a program unit within an organization (3)
  • Tracking number—number beginning with UA that is provided by University Archives and Historical Collections staff; also known as an accession number
  • Transmittal/inventory form—University Archives and Historical Collections form for recording a box inventory
  • University record—record of information created or received in the course of conducting university business and kept as evidence of such activity, including electronic and paper documents, books, photographs, tapes, films, recordings, e-mail, or other documentary materials or any copies made, produced, executed, or received by any university department or office or by any academic or administrative staff member in connection with the transaction of university business
  • Vital record—record identified as essential for the continuation or survival of an organization if disaster strikes; record needed to re-create an organization’s legal and financial status and to determine the rights and obligations of employees, customers, stockholders, and citizens (1)


(1) Guideline for Managing E-mail. Prairie Village, Kansas: ARMA International, 2000.
(2) A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology. Richard Pearce Moses. SAA, 2004. (viewed 11/29/2004)
(3) Records and Information Management, Kansas: ARMA International, 2004.
(4) Michigan Freedom of Information Act (Act 442 of 1976)

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