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What Has Archival Value?
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What Has Archival Value?

Unless and until your office or unit has established a retention schedule for the regular transfer of files from your office to the Archives or to a records center, this question is best answered after personal consultation with the Archivist.

The University Archives preserves and makes accessible the permanent historical records of Thomas Jefferson University. If your office has files or other materials that should be preserved as part of this permanent record, please call the University Archivist at 215-503-8097. The Archivist will visit your office to review files with you and determine the legal, administrative, or historical value of the material.

Some Materials Have Permanent Archival Value

Records with historical value include those that document policy and major decisions, record major activities or events, summarize financial or other statistical data, or clarify procedures. Most records are set up for convenience or other limited purposes and are generally not useful once they have served their immediate function.

The following is a generic list of records that should be routinely transferred to the Archives. Remember: if you are in doubt, don't throw it out!

  • Constitutions and by-laws, minutes, proceedings, and lists of officers of University corporate bodies;
  • Office files: correspondence and memoranda; subject files documenting projects, activities and functions; departmental rosters and directories;
  • Files documenting policies and decisions, committee and task force reports, questionnaires;
  • Non-current personnel records;
  • Non-current student records;
  • Research, patent, contract and grant administration records;
  • Publications: three (3) copies of all programs, journals, annual reports and other monographs; newsletters; brochures; and other printed and graphic material issued by the University, its offices and departments should be forwarded to the Archives (401 Scott) at the time of distribution;
  • Maps, architectural plans and drawings; and
  • Audio-visual materials (photographs, films, sound and video recordings, multi-media presentations)

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The University Archives and Special Collections is a unit of
Scott Memorial Library, Thomas Jefferson University
1020 Walnut Street · Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-503-8097 / 215-503-2477

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