Building Our Legacy Together: Eliminate The Unnecessary

| April 29, 2011

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” –Hans Hofmann

An archive is a purposefully-assembled collection of records intended to tell a story to future researchers. Emptying file drawers into an archive actually inhibits the effectiveness of the archive by obstructing access to key documents with a surfeit of inconsequential records. Judicious use of a shredder is required to develop a clean, high functioning archival collection.

The following types of documents should not be included in an archive:

Multiple copies of anything.

Books that could be added to other areas of the collections.

Copyrighted materials not authored by the owner of the archive.

Publications not produced by the unit or individual.

Reports already collected by another administrative unit of the college that sponsored the group.

Bills and receipts for routine office supplies, travel expenses, utilities, etc.

Routine correspondence.

Telephone messages.

Personal documents.

Drafts of reports and publications.