Careful management of University records contributes to business efficiency, protects from legal risk, and preserves Harvard’s history. The Harvard Library records management programs provide guidance on managing records in all formats.
Records Management Overview
All Harvard University employees have a stake in making sure records are efficiently and effectively managed so that University administrative, legal, fiscal and historical interests are served. Records management staff can advise on the appropriate care of records in all formats, including electronic records and email.
There are three records management offices at Harvard to help with records management needs. Please refer to the links below to find the most appropriate office to assist you.
Records Management Services at the Harvard University Archives serves Central Administration, the graduate and professional schools (other than those listed separately below), research centers and institutes and affiliated Harvard entities.
The Archives and Records Management Program at the Center for the History of Medicine, Countway Library, serves the Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Dental Medicine.
Information Lifecycle Management at Baker Library Historical Collections serves the Harvard Business School (log in required to view website).
General Records Schedule
The General Records Schedule (GRS) details Harvard’s policy on how long to keep different types of records, and whether to send records to an archive or destroy them when they are no longer needed. The GRS covers common records found across the University in all formats – including electronic records and email. Following the GRS helps to ensure that:
- Records are kept long enough to meet compliance requirements, including Federal and state laws and regulations.
- Records of enduring historical value are transferred to an appropriate archive for permanent preservation and future use.
- Records are not kept longer than necessary, which exposes the University to unnecessary costs and legal risks.
- You can make informed decisions about keeping and disposing of records.
The General Records Schedule (GRS) is available to the Harvard community via PIN authentication.