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Nieman Foundation Cleanup Project

Records Management Services provides advice to help control storage costs and identify important historical records

Photograph of Records Center stacks
 
 

RMS helps the Nieman Foundation prepare for their 75th anniversary

 

In preparation for their 75th anniversary celebration, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism contacted Records Management Services (RMS) at the University Archives for help with their records.  RMS worked with the Nieman Foundation to identify and preserve important historical records, as well as dispose of non-essential records lingering in offsite storage at the Harvard Depository Records Center.  The project wrapped in time to kick off the Nieman@75 events commemorating three-quarters of a century dedicated to continuing educational opportunities for journalists.

The cleanup project began in early 2013. Paul Plutnicki, Finance Manager at the Foundation, contacted RMS for guidance on culling their records and to obtain an inventory of Foundation records stored at the Records Center.  RMS partnered with Paul to determine the best course of action for handling the records, both old and new.  It was important for the Nieman Foundation to continue to meet internal record-keeping needs while following University records guidelines found in Harvard’s General Records Schedule. Together they identified hundreds of boxes containing extra copies of past Nieman Reports (the Foundation’s quarterly publication) that could potentially be recycled. In addition, Paul freed up office space by eliminating over 60 boxes of material stored onsite at the Foundation.

With the help of RMS, the Nieman Foundation formalized an ongoing archival transfer process which will help ensure that print copies of the Nieman Reports are regularly sent to the Archives for preservation. Reducing the number of back-up copies stored at the Records Center will cut future costs considerably. Overall, as result of the clean-up project, the Nieman Foundation will save more than $2,500 annually.

“This project has led to less clutter around our offices and lower Depository costs,” says Paul Plutnicki. “We have found the RMS staff to be knowledgeable and helpful.  They will listen to your goals and help guide you in deciding what materials you will need to keep and what materials you can discard.”

University offices that are interested in carrying out similar cleanup projects can click here for tips on how to get started.  For more personalized help, call or email Records Management Services.

Did you know?
Accounts with large inventories are invited to review records onsite at the Records Center or retrieve boxes to their office. For convenience, the Nieman Foundation retrieved boxes in batches of 30 to Cambridge, allowing the office to evaluate records on their own time.  Over the course of several months, Paul and his team eliminated over 300 boxes.