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Accessing Records


Introduction

In general, records that have permanent historical or research value and are not actively used by your department should be transferred to the University Archives for permanent housing. Please see our Storing, Destroying and Transferring Records to the University Archives web page for instructions on transferring records to the Archives.

Below is a basic overview of the characteristics of permanent records, along with a guide detailing the types of records that should be transferred to the Archives. If, after looking at the overview and the guide, you still have questions about which records should be sent to the Archives, please call us at 6-4686.

Basic Overview of the Nature of Permanent Records


What are records with permanent historical or research value?

Records that document the significant activities and core functions of a department, program, or committee. In general, records of a department's policies, organizational structure, major projects, and publications provide a good picture of a department's functions and activities and therefore have permanent historical and research value. If a set of records disappeared, leaving people unable to recreate a department's functions without them, the records most likely have permanent value.

What are actively used records?

Records that your department refers to on a regular basis to conduct its business. If you need to use a set of records at least a few times a year, they will generally be considered active records. Some records that have permanent historical or research value are still active records. Examples include donor files and student transcripts.

What type of records do not have permanent historical or research value?

  • Job searches
  • Contracts
  • Rough drafts of routine documents such as memos, correspondence, and procedures
  • Time sheets--both staff and student
  • Unidentified photographs
  • Secondary material--particularly press clippings and reports from non-Brandeis institutions

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Donor, Alumni, and Grant Records
Description These records document individual donors and alumni, in particular the donations they make to Brandeis University. They also document grants awarded to Brandeis. In addition they document the University's efforts to cultivate donations and apply for grants.
Transfer the Following Records to the Archives
  • Correspondence--including emails, memos, reports, meeting minutes, policy statements, and announcements that document the policies, procedures, and rules concerning donor and alumni relations and applying for and administering grants
  • Records documenting special donor, alumni, or grant-funded programs or projects
  • Final reports from grant-funded projects
Do Not Transfer the Following Records to the Archives
  • Records on individual donors and alumni
  • Literature about a granting agency or organization
  • Financial records documenting granting agencies, organizations, alumni, or donors giving money to the University

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Employee Records
Description These records include personnel files for staff, administrators, and faculty. They also include records dealing with general personnel issues, policies, and agreements. In addition they include affirmative action, disciplinary, and some legal cases.
Transfer the Following Records to the Archives
  • Records and reports that summarize the nature of a segment or all of the Brandeis faculty and staff
  • General descriptions of benefit packages
  • Union contracts
  • Records documenting union negotiations
  • Correspondence--including email, memos, reports, meeting minutes, policy statements, and announcements that document the procedures, policies, rules, and agreements concerning personnel issues; this includes affirmative action policies
Do Not Transfer the Following Records to the Archives
  • Records on individual administrators, staff, or faculty members
  • Records concerning individual affirmative action, disciplinary, or legal cases
  • Promotion or tenure review records
  • Job evaluations
  • Job searches
  • Time sheets

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Faculty Papers
Description These are records held and created by individual faculty members. Generally, most faculty have records documenting their teaching, research, work with professional organizations and publishers, and their administrative work on committees, as department chairs or program heads, or in some cases, as deans. For faculty personnel records, see Employee Records.
Transfer the Following Records to the Archives
  • Annual activity reports
  • Biographical information such as resumes, vitae, bibliographies, memoirs, genealogies, and biographical sketches
  • Course syllabi, outlines, reading lists, lecture notes, and examinations
  • Correspondence--including email, memos, reports, meeting minutes, policy statements, and announcements that document the policies and activities of the faculty member's department, program, or committee, especially from faculty who are deans, chairs, or heads of these units
  • Identified photographs, films, and sound and moving image recordings, especially of department events or professional activities
  • Publications and speeches written by the faculty member
  • Drafts of publications and speeches written by the faculty member
  • Correspondence--including email, memos, reports, meeting minutes, policy statements, announcements, and programs documenting the faculty member's professional activities. However, please talk to the Archivist about these items before donating them to the University Archives.
  • Personal and family correspondence, diaries, and identified photographs. Please talk to the Archivist about these items before donating them to the University Archives.
Do Not Transfer the Following Records to the Archives
  • Records that document routine activities such as reimbursements and acknowledgment letters
  • Student records such as grade books; class rosters; student papers, projects, and tests; student disciplinary cases; and correspondence with students--especially those discussing grades or academic standing;
  • Records on a faculty member's own tenure and promotion review process
  • Records on other faculty members' tenure and promotion review process
  • Personnel records on other faculty members or staff
  • Job search records
  • Financial records--especially detailed records such as canceled checks and receipts
  • Galleys of publications unless the final publication is unavailable
  • Publications and presentations written by others
  • Research notes and material, subject files, and secondary material--particularly if the research culminates in an available publication or other summary form. However, please talk to the Archivist about this research material before destroying.
  • Artifacts and memorabilia except in cases of great importance and manageable size and condition. Please talk to the Archivist about this material before destroying.
  • Unidentified photographs

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Financial Records
Description Financial records document the University's income from such sources as tuition, donations, grants, and investments. They also document Brandeis expenses such as financial aid and payroll. In addition, financial records document transactions between Brandeis departments and also include budgetary and insurance records.
Transfer the Following Records to the Archives
  • Annual financial statements (two copies)
  • Final departmental and University budgets
  • Correspondence--including email, memos, reports, meeting minutes, policy statements, and announcements that document the policies and procedures for managing the finances of the University
Do Not Transfer the Following Records to the Archives
  • Payroll records
  • Student financial records--including records on tuition, fees, and financial aid
  • Insurance records
  • Investment records
  • Financial records involving donors and granting foundations and agencies (see Donor, Alumni, and Grant Records)
  • Draft budgets and documents used to formulate budgets
  • Expense and purchase records (this includes all PeopleSoft forms)
  • Records documenting financial transactions between departments (this includes all PeopleSoft forms)
  • Contracts

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Publications
Description Publications are produced by individual departments and student organizations. In addition to creating publications like The Brandeis Review and The Brandeis Reporter, the Office of Public Affairs and Publications Office also produces publications for many University departments. Publications may exist in any format, including electronic. Publications are generally produced to document the activities of a department, program, or committee; provide an educational service; and/or provide information. Types of publications may include but are not limited to catalogs, books, magazines, newsletters, handbooks, yearbooks, directories, brochures, pamphlets, media guides, guidebooks, proceedings, programs, flyers, and some web pages.
Transfer the Following Records to the Archives
  • All publications (two copies)
  • Correspondence--including email, memos, reports, meeting minutes, policy statements, and announcements that document the policies and procedures for creating and distributing a publication
Do Not Transfer the Following Records to the Archives
  • Drafts of publications
  • Research material used to produce a publication

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Student Records
Description Records containing information on individual students as well as data on parts or all of the student body. Records containing information about identifiable individual students must be handed in accordance the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA). Please see www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html and www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/ps-officials.html for more information about FERPA. As a general rule of thumb, records about individual students should not be transferred to the Archives while records about part or all of the student body should be sent to the Archives.
Transfer the Following Records to the Archives
  • Senior honors theses, masters theses, PhD dissertations, or other substantial works (The students must be informed that a copy of their work is being transferred to the Archives.)
  • Class profiles and any other records and reports that summarizes the nature of a segment or the entire student body, such as admissions reports
Do Not Transfer the Following Records to the Archives
  • Student papers--except as noted above
  • Student disciplinary records
  • Records of individual students, including scholarship and fellowship records
  • Student employment records
  • Student recommendations
  • Student correspondence--especially correspondence discussing grades, academic standing, recommendations, or disciplinary cases.