Managing Active Records


The Smithsonian Institution Archives provides guidance to staff in managing their records from the moment they are created to the end of their useful life.

Two of the most common records management mistakes are poor file organization and management. When files are set up properly, it is easier to find needed files, it is simpler to determine where newly created files should be placed, there is less duplication resulting in less space needed for the files, and it is faster to determine what records should be destroyed or transferred to the Archives. Spending the time to plan a filing system now will reduce the amount of time and other costs spent on managing the files later. Whether setting up files for the first time, or reorganizing existing files, this guidance will help create a more efficient system.

There is no one file management solution that will fit all office environments, but the Archives can guide Smithsonian units in establishing file plans and policies customized to their individual circumstances. Units may contact their liaisons for additional information and assistance.