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GT SORT - Student Organization Records Toolkit

Storage

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,

Access

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.

Storing Electronic Records

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.

  • DO NOT store electronic records in your GT email. These will be deactivated once your leave Georgia Tech and the records will disappear. Instead, you can maintain an email account specific to your organization or position within the organization and archive emails and documents there. This email address can be passed down to new officers each year. Services like Gmail include cloud storage with Google Drive.
  • DO store your electronic files in multiple places. For example, if you are using cloud storage to maintain your records, you should also store the same records on a hard drive or other portable media. However, portable media are relatively unstable and can become obsolete rather quickly and so an external hard drive, which is relatively inexpensive, can offer a more stable storage solution.
  • DO decide what formats you would like to store your records in and be consistent. For text files .txt is ideal but if you need to maintain formatting within a text document then save the file as a PDF. For large images, like digital photos, .tiff is the best format; however, many graphics are created as .jpg and can be maintained in that format.
  • DO organize our electronic files just as you would your paper records. That means like items, such as meeting minutes, should be kept in their own folder and clearly labeled. Create a standardized way of naming your organization's files so that members can quickly locate and identify the records they are looking for.
  • DO submit your website URL to the Internet Archive for capture via their Save Page feature.