General Records Schedule

A tool to help faculty, staff and administrators identify the types of records they may have in their offices and how long to archive and keep them.

The General Records Schedule (GRS) makes it easier for all University employees to make thoughtful and legally defensible decisions about keeping and disposing of records.

Launch General Records Schedule

Developed by Records Management Services, the GRS provides instruction on how long you must keep different types of records (retention) and how records should be destroyed or transferred to the Archives (disposition) once they have fulfilled their retention requirements.

What is covered?

The GRS covers common records found throughout the University, including:

  • Accounts payable
  • Personnel files
  • Program planning
  • Publications
  • Student records

The GRS applies to records in all formats, including paper records, electronic records such as Word documents, spreadsheets and databases, and e-mail.

How to use the GRS

The GRS is organized into broad functional categories, and each category contains entries for specific types of records. Each entry contains a description of the records and examples of the types of documents you might find in those files.

There is also a retention statement that tells you how long to keep the records. Records that have historical value and may be appropriate for transfer to the University Archives are indicated in the retention plan by the phrases "contact archives," transfer to archives," and "retain permanently."

What if I don't find my records in the GRS?

Although the General Records Schedule covers many types of records created at the University, your office may create unique records that are not represented in the GRS. If you do not find an entry in the GRS for some of your records, please contact to discuss them.

"Barnum was right," Hasty Pudding poster, 1920.
Records Management Services

Harvard University Archives
Pusey Library, Harvard Yard
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States