What is a Records Inventory?

The vast majority of areas of the university can rely on the General Records Schedule for their records needs. However, some departments will need their own unique schedules due to records they create or maintain that are not found elsewhere in the university. If your area requires its own unique retention schedule, you must create an inventory in cooperation with records management.

Prior to the development of a records retention schedule, designated departmental staff will create a brief inventory of all types of files created and/or maintained by their office. An inventory is not as time consuming as it may sound. Inventories should cover records in any format (paper or electronic) created or maintained by the office. It is not necessary to inventory each piece of paper or file held in an office, rather records are grouped into series, i.e. categories of similar records.

Steps to Completing the Records Inventory

  • Complete the Records Inventory Form
    • Records Management is currently creating an accessible PDF version of this form. If you need one right away, please email the University Records Manager.
  • Send the completed forms to the University Records Manager via email or campus mail (ML 0113).

Preparation of the Records Inventory

When preparing the standard version inventory:

Identify each group of records. If you require assistance with this part of the process, please contact the records management program.

List all University forms (and numbers) and types of records within each series.

Approximate the volume of records in a series using the following guidelines:

Electronic: Use the properties menu to determine the approximate number and volume of electronic files (for example, 150 files consisting of 25 MB total)


  • 1 letter-size file drawer = 2.5 cubic feet
  • 1 legal-size file drawer = 3.0 cubic feet
  • 1 transfile (letter/legal) = 2.5 cubic feet
  • 1 record carton = 1.25 cubic feet

Determine the span dates for each series

Note any special format or copies, and who holds the Record Copy of the records. The Record Copy is the "official" copy of a record.

Please send all forms at the same time to Records Management.