Once you have identified the records your organization wants to keep, the next step is determining how to maintain them. To best preserve your records, be sure to keep them in a dry, cool place. Moisture, excessive heat, and light can damage paper and audiovisual materials. When possible, avoid using rubber bands, staples, paperclips, tape, etc., which can damage paper when not stored in an ideal environment. Try to store records on steel shelving or cabinets rather than wood, which emits a gas that, over time, can be harmful to your documents.
If your organization lacks storage space, we encourage you to consider donating the records to Archives as an alternate to passing down the records from member to member each year,
No matter where your organization's records are stored (a filing cabinet, Google Drive, etc.), they should be kept together and arranged in a way that works best for your group. It is important to label all files with the full name and date of the topic documented within so that members in the future will know what is in them. For photographs and scrapbooks, good practice includes identifying as many of the people depicted as possible.
It is also beneficial to create an inventory of the records your organization maintains so that you can quickly identify and locate records of interest.
Should your group ever wish to donate its records to the University Archives, an inventory will provide a good outline of the collection and means that we can more quickly include it in the Archives' online discovery system.
Electronic records like email, photographs, etc., have become a large component of organizations' files. Much like their paper counterparts though, there are steps you can take to preserve these records and make them accessible to future members.