Smithsonian-wide Records Disposition Schedule


The Smithsonian Institution Archives is responsible for advising Smithsonian offices on the proper retention and disposal of their records.  This records disposition schedule is intended to clarify the record keeping responsibilities of offices and to ensure that records are appropriately saved or destroyed. 

Guidance in this disposition schedule has been generalized to apply to all offices within the Smithsonian.  Disposition information has been grouped by records series (type of record). Records series titles may not reflect the name used by an individual office to identify a set of files. For questions about the applicability of a records series to an office's records, contact the Archives and Information Management Team.

Browse records series that are common to a job function:


List of All Records Series [pdf] (Updated: March 8, 2019)

Unit-specific records disposition schedules (Staff only)

Unit-specific schedules have been written for some offices.  They may still be used in conjunction with this Smithsonian-wide schedule.  For questions about disposition instructions, please consult with the Archives and Information Management Team.

Dispositions in both the Smithsonian-wide and unit-specific schedules take into consideration the administrative, legal, fiscal, historical, and research value of the records. The Office of General Counsel and other central administrative offices have been consulted when necessary.