Research and Curatorial Records Disposition Schedule

The dispositions in this schedule pertain to records created in typical circumstances; any unique situations may require consultation with the Archives and Information Management Team. The disposition actions described in the schedule apply only to inactive and semi-active records; active or working records should remain available and on-premises until they are no longer needed, at which time the instructions in the schedule are to be applied.

See Transferring or Destroying Records for next steps in carrying out a disposition. See the glossary for definitions of many of the terms found in the schedules.

Series Title Series Description Disposition Likely Offices of Record
Committee Records Pertaining to SI and unit committees. Materials include agendas, minutes, reports, by-laws, charters, and related materials. Originals: Transfer to Archives. Copies: Destroy when no longer needed. Committee chairs
Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR) Records Pertaining to COTR's interaction with the contractor and site representative. Materials include email and paper correspondence related to work authorizations, problems, delays, modifications, and terminations as well as reports and progress plans. Originals: The COTR should work with the Contracting Officer to determine which records should become part of the permanent contract file maintained by OCon&PPM. Destroy records not required by OCon&PPM 6 years, 3 months after close of account. Copies: Destroy when no longer needed. COTR
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Contracts Pertaining to individuals, vendors, and services, including copies of contracts, correspondence, statements of work, project bids, and price quotes. Originals: Transfer to Archives. Copies: Destroy 6 years, 3 months after close of account. OCon&PPM, SE
Curatorial Correspondence Pertaining to research and collections, and contacts with donors/sponsors. Originals: Transfer to Archives. Copies: Destroy when no longer needed. Curators, Museum specialists, Scientists
Departmental Files Pertaining to the administration and activities of individual departments within a museum or other large unit. Materials include memoranda, reports, meeting materials, notes, and related materials. Originals: Transfer to Archives. Copies: Destroy when no longer needed. Department heads/chairs, Administrators who oversee several departments
Director's Subject Files Pertaining to the files of the Director and other upper-level staff of museums, research centers, and SI-wide programmatic and administrative offices. Materials include correspondence, email, memoranda, reports, meeting materials, professional activity files, notes, and related materials documenting overall administration of the unit, professional outreach, development, public affairs, and relations with other SI units and non-SI organizations. Originals: Transfer to Archives. Copies: Destroy when no longer needed. Secretary, Under secretaries, Directors/deputy directors
Exhibition Records Pertaining to the design, execution, and installation of exhibitions. Materials include correspondence, memoranda, concepts, proposals, scripts, label texts, catalogs, promotional materials, clippings, installation photographs, floor plans, drawings, graphics, checklists, schedules, visitor comment books, notes, and related materials. Originals: Transfer to Archives. Copies: Destroy when no longer needed. SITES, OEC, Curatorial offices, Exhibition design offices, Public affairs offices, Publications units, Directors/deputy directors, Programmatic offices
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Exhibition Working Files Pertaining to the research and planning of exhibitions. Materials include logistical files, research materials, object photographs, drafts, accounting files, travel files, copies of materials created by other offices, design samples, and related materials. Originals and Copies: Destroy when no longer needed. SITES, OEC, Curatorial offices, Exhibition design offices, Public affairs offices, Publications units, Directors/deputy directors, Programmatic offices
Fellowship and Internship Records Pertaining to the awarding of fellowships and internships. Materials include applications, resumes, agreements, correspondence, and project proposals. Originals: Recommendations, Transcripts, and Declined Applications - Destroy when 10 years old. All Other Materials - Maintain in database. Copies: Destroy when no longer needed. OFI
Grant Accounting Records Records of expenditures made using grant money. Originals and Copies: Use disposition found for specific record types elsewhere in this schedule or disposition dictated by grant, whichever is longer. OSP, Museum/research center administrative units, Principal investigators
Grant Administrative Records Pertaining to the administration of grants, awards, and other outside funding for education, research, and exhibitions. Materials include correspondence, memoranda, contract information, grant requests, closeout checklists, biographical information, and authorizations. Originals and Copies: Destroy 3 years after close of grant. OSP, Museum/research center administrative units, Principal investigators
Grant Records Pertaining to the application for and fulfillment of grants, awards, and other outside funding for education, research, and exhibitions. Materials include proposals, project award notifications, reports, final products, correspondence, and memoranda. Originals: Transfer to Archives. Copies: Destroy when no longer needed. Principal investigators
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Information Files Reference files on research topics and publications. Originals and Copies: Destroy when no longer needed. Curators, Museum specialists, Scientists, Education offices
Lectures and Speeches Pertaining to lectures, speeches, and other presentations given by high-level administrators and subject specialists to large audiences. Materials include texts, audiovisual materials, notes, programs, and related materials. Originals: Transfer to Archives. Copies: Destroy when no longer needed. Secretary, Under secretaries, Directors/deputy directors, Unit heads, Curators, Scientists
Loan Files Pertaining to incoming and outgoing loans. Materials include correspondence, condition and facility reports, loan agreements, insurance information, shipping records, treatment reports, and object descriptions and images. Originals: Transfer to Archives or maintain permanently in unit, whichever is in accordance with unit policy. Copies: Destroy when no longer needed or according to unit policy. Registrar/collections management offices, Curatorial offices, SIL, Archival units
Nomenclature Lists and Notes Final drafts of unpublished lists. Originals: Transfer to Archives. Copies and Drafts: Destroy when no longer needed. Curators, Museum specialists, Scientists
Photographs, Illustrations, and Audiovisual Footage Photographs of research activities, original illustrations, and film/video footage. Originals: Transfer to Archives. Copies: Destroy when no longer needed. Curators, Museum specialists, Scientists
Policies and Handbooks Policy statements, directives, and handbooks, as well as supporting documentation of their development. Supporting documentation includes correspondence, memoranda, meeting notes, and reports. Originals: Transfer to Archives. Copies: Destroy when no longer needed. OPMB, Central administrative offices, Other units issuing policies and handbooks
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Professional Accomplishments and Evaluation Committee (PAEC) Records Pertaining to the peer review process evaluating the activities and accomplishments of academic staff. Materials include committee minutes, reports, memoranda, correspondence, publication lists, curricula vitae, and manuscripts. Originals: Transfer to Archives. Copies: Destroy when no longer needed. Directors/deputy directors, PAEC review committees, Museum administrative offices
Professional Activities Files Pertaining to professional conferences, symposia, and workshops in which staff formally participated as a speaker or organizer. Materials include papers, lecture materials, photographs of colleagues, conference programs, correspondence, agendas, minutes, proceedings, and related materials. Materials related to conferences in which staff only participated as an attendee are not considered to be institutional records and are not subject to disposition requirements. Originals: Transfer to Archives. Weed logistical and travel files. Copies: Destroy when no longer needed. Individual staff
Public inquiries Routine inquiries about specific objects, museum collections, and SI in general. Materials include incoming and outgoing correspondence. Originals: Destroy 3 years after date of final response. Copies: Destroy when no longer needed. Registrar/collections management offices, Curators, Scientists, Public affairs offices, OVS
Publication Records Pertaining to materials created during the production of a publication. Materials include manuscripts, drafts, proofs, galleys, layouts, editor's files, correspondence, memoranda, camera-ready art, and accounting files. Originals and Copies: Destroy when no longer needed. Publications offices, Education offices, Public affairs offices
Publications Regular and special publications, in paper or electronic form, published by SI units. This includes magazines, newsletters, brochures, annual reports, and other published materials. Originals: Transfer 2 copies to Archives. Copies: Destroy when no longer needed. Publications offices, Education offices, Public affairs offices, Curatorial offices, Programmatic offices
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Research Records Includes field/lab/research notes, raw data pertaining to work done in the field or lab, and research on collections. Originals Relating to Collection Materials: Maintain in unit. If digitized, transfer originals to Archives and maintain digital files in unit. Originals Not Relating to Collection Materials: Transfer to Archives. Copies: Destroy when no longer needed. Curators, Museum specialists, Scientists
Research Reports Progress and final reports, including content based editorial comments, notes, and correspondence. Originals: Transfer to Archives. Copies: Destroy when no longer needed. Curators, Museum specialists, Scientists, Directors/deputy directors, Department heads/chairs
Rights and Reproduction Permissions (Granted) Permissions granted by SI for use of SI images by non-SI individuals and organizations. Materials include correspondence and related materials. Originals: Destroy when 7 years old. Copies: Destroy when no longer needed. Museum imaging departments, Curatorial offices, Registrar/collections management offices, Archival units, SIL
Rights and Reproduction Permissions (Received) Permissions received by SI for the use of non-SI images, writings, and other materials in SI publications, productions, and exhibitions. Originals: Maintain permanently in unit. Copies: Destroy when no longer needed or according to unit policy. Publications offices, Curatorial offices, Education offices
Unpublished Manuscripts Including content based editorial comments, notes, and correspondence. Originals (Final Draft Only): Transfer to Archives. Copies and Earlier Drafts: Destroy when no longer needed. Curators, Museum specialists, Scientists
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