Special Collections

Records Policy


Union College requires that different types of records be retained for specific periods of time. The College is committed to effective records retention to preserve its history, meet relevant legal standards, optimize the use of space, minimize the cost of records storage, and ensure that obsolescent and useless records are destroyed.

The College takes very seriously its role in preserving the history and traditions of the institution, including historically important materials created not merely in the past but as an ongoing part of the current and future operations of the College. The Department of Special Collections & Archives has primary responsibility for this archival function. The archives serves as the institutional memory of the College and plays an integral role in the management of the institution's information resources in all media and formats.

To fulfill the responsibilities of that role, the archives identifies, acquires, maintains, and preserves records of enduring value that chronicle the institution and ensure its continued existence. The archives documents the process of institutional evolution by retaining both the evidence which shapes decisions and the decisions themselves.


Active records are those that are frequently referred to or that are needed to support the current business activity of a unit.

Inactive records are records that have not been needed for at least one year or for which the active period has passed. Inactive records should be securely stored until the end of the designated retention period. Unless these records have been defined as permanent records, they should be destroyed after the designated retention period has elapsed.

Permanent records (or archival records) are those which have enduring historical, administrative, or research value to the College and which the Special Collections and Archives retains, preserves, and provides access to in perpetuity.

Electronic Records

In today's environment, employees create and maintain an increasing portion of their records using computers. Electronic records must be managed alongside traditional records to ensure compliance with legal regulations and to preserve institutional history.