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10 Tips for Preserving Your Organization's History

  1. Document the activities of your group: keep minutes of meeting; save copies of publications and flyers; and take photographs of members, meetings, and events.

  2. Label your materials with full names, dates, and descriptions of events or circumstances.

  3. Keep your records together in one central place. Assign someone to be secretary and have them pass on information to their successor annually.

  4. Develop a straightforward filing system that works for you. There's no one best way to do this.

  5. Store your records away from dampness, dust, excessive heat, and sun.

  6. Avoid using paper clips and rubber bands. If you have documents that need to be kept together, use stainless steel staples or plastic clips.

  7. Develop a routine of transferring inactive records to the University Archives at the end of the semester, year, or your leader's term of office.

  8. Consider the fate of your non-paper documents. Digital records can pose software and hardware access problems. Save CDs/DVDs, memorabilia, photographs, posters, sound recordings, and videos, as well as traditional paper documents. Contact the University Archives if you have materials on websites or social media pages that we can export and preserve.

  9. Get to know the staff of University Archives and learn more about our collections.

  10. When in doubt, don't throw it out! Contact University Archives staff to arrange a donation or learn more about how to preserve your organization's records.

  11. Sonya Rooney, University Archivist, 314-935-9730, srooney@wustl.edu

    Miranda Rectenwald, Archives Assistant, 314-935-5444, mrectenwald@wustl.edu

Adapted from a 2006 flyer by Wesleyan University Archives.