What do you do when you have a large number of physical and digital records in your care? We have developed several options and procedures to help departments properly maintain and dispose of their records. The available methods depend upon the type of record (physical or digital) as well as the contents of the record.  See below for information on how to properly store, preserve, and destroy your records.

Records Management During COVID-19

The Records Management team will be providing modified services to the College community during the Fall 2020 semester.  Please note the following:

  • All services provided by Iron Mountain will be on-demand only. Automatic swapping of shredding bins has been temporarily halted.
  • Iron Mountain staff members are not permitted to enter Emerson College buildings.  Emerson staff listed as the contacts for each order must bring/receive boxes and shredding bins outside their building.  Iron Mountain staff will notify contacts when they are close by.
  • There may be delays of five business days or more for orders to Iron Mountain, due to limited staff availability and Iron Mountain schedules.
  • Iron Mountain boxes and shredding bins cannot be delivered to a staff/faculty member’s residence.  Staff and faculty should not bring these materials to their residences.
  • All Iron Mountain boxes and shredding bins delivered to the records management team will be quarantined for 96 hours.
  • Emerson’s records management team will not be conducting in-person reviews of documents in other departments.  Departments must send the team a detailed list of materials requiring review, and discussions can take place through Zoom or over the phone.

Please contact us at records_management [at] emerson.edu for more information about modifications to records management services during the Fall 2020 semester.

Storage for Non-Permanent Physical Records

There are two storage options for non-permanent records that are not yet eligible for destruction.

  1. Storage within your department.
  2. Storage offsite at Iron Mountain.

Storing materials that are accessed frequently within your department is generally preferable, since you can access them at your convenience without having to wait for them to be delivered. It also gives you full control over your materials. For information about properly storing your records in your department, view our guidelines for maintaining records.

Storing records offsite at Iron Mountain can be beneficial if you have a large number of materials that cannot yet be destroyed due to their retention period but are not accessed frequently. It reduces the amount of space dedicated to records in your office but still allows them to be accessible within a reasonable amount of time. View our instructions for sending records to Iron Mountain as well as our instructions for retrieving records from Iron Mountain for more information about offsite storage.

Please Note:  At this time Iron Mountain staff cannot enter Emerson buildings. All transactions are on-demand only and must take place outside Emerson buildings. 

Storage & Preservation of Permanent Physical Records

Permanent records can be stored within your department when they are being used frequently by staff, faculty, and/or students. This allows you to access them quickly when you need them without having to wait for them to be delivered from the archives. For information about properly storing your records in your department, view our guidelines for maintaining records.

When permanent records are no longer used frequently, they can be sent to the archives. Once received by the archives staff they will be properly preserved using archival quality folders, boxes, and storage areas so that they will be accessible into the future. For more information on how to send your permanent records to the archives, view our archival records transfer guidelines.

Storage & Preservation of Digital Records

Permanent digital records that are accessed frequently can be stored within your department, including on your work computer, in Box, or in Google Drive. This ensures quick and easy access to your materials. Once you no longer need to access your digital records regularly, you can transfer them to the archives where they will be preserved in our institutional repository. For information on transferring your digital records to the archives, records_management [at] emerson.edu (contact the records management team).

Non-Permanent digital records should be stored within your department as well. Once their retention period has been met you may safely dispose of them according to our digital record destruction options.

Destruction of Physical Records

Non-permanent physical records that have been maintained for the total length of time mandated by the retention schedules can be destroyed. This usually means confidential destruction. Archives staff members can order Iron Mountain shredding bins to be delivered to departments, which can then be loaded with the records ready for shredding. Iron Mountain will shred the records in a secure manner so that no confidential information is exposed. View our instructions for shredding records through Iron Mountain if you would like to learn more about this service. 

A select number of physical records containing no confidential information can be placed in recycling bins, but the preferred method of destruction is confidential shredding. If you have any questions regarding how to destroy your records please records_management [at] emerson.edu (contact the records management team).

Please Note: At this time Iron Mountain staff cannot enter Emerson buildings. All transactions are on-demand only and must take place outside Emerson buildings. 

Destruction of Digital Records

Non-permanent digital records can be disposed of through deletion from all known storage devices, including such cloud storage platforms as Google Drive and Box. Make sure that you empty the trash bin of your device/storage platform to permanently delete materials. Please note that content deleted from Box will remain available in the trash for three months until it is automatically deleted from the system.

You may also contact the IT department regarding Emerson College devices needing to be wiped of memory entirely and/or recycled.