The College of Human Ecology at Cornell University has its own comprehensive records management program. This program provides a cost-effective approach to the management of all records created, received and maintained by the college and ensures that those records determined to be of enduring value are transferred to the Cornell University Archives where they are preserved and made available to researchers.

Records Management

The Records Management Program is responsible for managing all college records, regardless of format, from their creation to their final disposition. That disposition can be to one of the following locations:

  • The University Archives located in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections for permanent retention
  • The records center where hard copy scheduled records will eventually be shredded/recycled according to the university records retention schedule.

If an e-mail message was

  • created or received in the transaction of business,

  • retained as evidence of official policies/decisions,


  • has historical significance valuable informational content

it is considered a University record and is subject to the same retention period as the paper equivalent. (i.e. e-mail may be equivalent to formal correspondence) As such it may need to be retained for longer than an e-mail system is capable of retaining it. It is the responsibility of the sender/recipient to determine if a particular e-mail message constitutes a University record.

E-mail messages which require long-term retention should be either retained electronically on retrievable media or printed, including all header and transmission information, and filed with their electronic or paper equivalents by the sender/recipient.

In a court of law, liability can become involved when such documents (paper or electronic) are not available to be provided. Be aware that your decision to retain or destroy an e-mail message may become an issue in a court situation.

The University Archives is within the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections located in Kroch Library. The Archives collects and preserves records of historical, legal, fiscal, and/or administrative value to Cornell University. Holdings include official records and reports of the university, its officers, and component parts; private papers of faculty, students, staff, and alumni; official and student publications; maps and architectural records; audiovisual materials including still photographs and negatives, motion picture film, oral history interviews, and audio and video tapes; and artifacts and ephemera documenting Cornell's history.

What the University Archives collects:

Donating Faculty Papers:

Unlike official university records, faculty papers are the property of the individual and must be transferred through a deed of gift.

Professional and personal papers may include, but are not limited to:

  • Biographical sketches, resumes, curriculum vitae
  • Bibliographies
  • Correspondence, including email
  • Course related materials, descriptions, syllabi, lecture notes, reading lists, class presentations
  • Research notes, subject files
  • Material concerning policies/programs that reflect development or change in a discipline
  • Speeches and presentations
  • Meeting minutes
  • Diaries or journals
  • Photographs, preferably identified, and other audio visual material
  • Scrapbooks
  • Family papers may be included

What is not collected without consultation:

  • Personnel files, including tenure review files
  • Student records that fall under FERPA, such as grading or advising materials
  • Financial records, such as check stubs, tax returns, etc.
  • Routine university materials-administrative mailings
  • Duplicates
  • Clipping files
  • Memorabilia, plaques, awards (with some exceptions)

Donating Records of Student Organizations:

Items to be transferred include:

  • Founding documents, constitution, by-laws
  • Meeting minutes and proceedings
  • Officer and member lists
  • Correspondence and memoranda and subject files concerning projects, activities and functions
  • Historical files documenting policies, decisions, committee and task force reports, annual reports
  • Publications, newsletters
  • Event brochures, posters and announcements issued by the organization
  • Photographs, preferably identified, and other audio visual material
  • Scrapbooks

What is not collected without consultation:

  • Records of specific financial and membership transactions
  • Duplicates
  • Bulky objects of little historic value


Records can have restrictions on access or use. Restrictions must be generic and not apply to a particular class of people. Restrictions with time limits are very much preferred, such as twenty years from date of creation or twenty years from date of gift.

Transferring Material to the University Archives:

Contact records manager, Eileen Keating at 255-3530 (Mon-Wed), 255-6326 (Th-Fri) or email in order to:

  • request acid free boxes
  • discuss the transfer of physical records or electronic records
  • receive a deed of gift form for the transfer of faculty papers
  • receive the excel template in order to create a box list (inventory) of what is being transferred to the Archives. Once collections are processed the guides to the collections are put on the web and can be accessed by doing a Google search, by searching the library catalog, or by going directly to the Division of rare and Manuscript Collections website:

Some Common Do's and Don'ts:

  • Do not send hanging file folders as they break the box edges
  • Boxes may be numbered in pencil only

To Review Material in the University Archives:

Material in the University Archives does not circulate. In order to use the material, you will need to register and use the material in the reading room in Kroch Library. Guidelines for using the material can be found at:

Records Manager:
Eileen Keating
2B Kroch Library or T411A MVR Hall
Cornell University Ithaca, New York 14853
Ph: (607) 255-3530 (M-W) or 255-4798

University Archivist:
Evan Earle
2B Kroch Library
Cornell University Ithaca, New York 14853
Ph: (607) 255-3530

Contact Eileen Keating, University Records Manager at 255-3530 (Mon-Wed) or 255-4798 (Th-Fr) or email to obtain a records transfer form.

FERPA/eCommons Release Form for Honors Theses