What to Keep

Of all of the paper, e-mail, spreadsheets, digital images or video and other material that we make, receive, file or record at the University pursuant to law or in connection with the transaction of any University business or activity, whether or not confidential or restricted in use or access, only some are subject to strict preservation requirements. The University Records Retention Schedule lists the kinds of records subject to very specific preservation requirements. University Public Records are the property of UO.

Steps to take before destroying recordsThis page presents guidelines to help determine which material in offices and data on servers require extra care, and which are merely clutter. Less clutter helps us carry out our work more efficiently and minimize our carbon footprint. Learn more ways to reduce clutter. Regardless of whether the data or document you are working with fall under the definition of records, these will need to be disposed of with attention to the University's policies on confidentiality and privacy.

Records Subject to Specific Preservation Requirements 

If it is listed on the University Records Retention Schedule, there are preservation requirements for UO offices. Some University Public Records, regardless of whether these are paper or digital, are subject to federal or state law or other regulations and hence listed on the University Records Retention Schedule. A fraction of scheduled records have enduring historical value and must be transferred to the University Archives for perpetual preservation; learn more about that criteria by visiting the Library Special Collections page. Learn more information about the permanent historical records of the University.

Records Not Subject to Specific Preservation Requirements 

The University of Oregon Records Management Policy, which all UO employees must be aware of, lists the following material, amongst others, as eligible for disposal as soon as their business use cease:

  • Messages on voice mail or on other telephone message storage and retrieval systems.
  • University Public Records that are duplicates by reason of being photocopies or electronic copies.
  • Transmittal and acknowledgment letters or emails. 
  • Spam, advertising, and announcements. 
  • Correspondence or notes pertaining to reservations of accommodations or scheduling of personal visits or appearances.
  • Private emails or other messages or records that do not relate to University business or activities.
  • Electronic text messages sent from one cellphone to another.
  • Temporary records that may result from communication technologies (e.g., instant messaging, image messaging, and other multimedia mobile applications or technologies that may be developed and used in the future).
  • Superseded drafts of letters or emails, minutes, notes, memoranda, reports, or articles.
  • Desk, telephone, or meeting notes intended for temporary or personal use.
  • Daily calendar or scheduling information.
  • A stock of publications. 
  • Library and museum materials made or acquired and preserved solely for reference or exhibition purposes.
  • Any metadata associated with a Non-Subject Record.  

If still not certain whether something is a record, contact us (records@uoregon.edu).


What to keep

View/download this .pdf quick reference guide to learn more.