Skip to Main Content

MIT Libraries logo MIT Libraries

Massaschusetts Institute of Technology logo Search Account

MIT Records Management Program: Record types & retention schedules

Record types

How do I know if my records are active or inactive?
The Department of Distinctive Collections, in accordance with MIT Policy, can help you determine what types of records you have and how long they should be retained.

Records should only be stored through the Records Management Program after they have become inactive. Inactive records are files that you are no longer using to do daily business transactions. The Records Management Program is not for general office storage of active records because all records in the Records Management Program must have a destruction date.

There are three things that can be done with “inactive records” in accordance with MIT policies 13.3. and 13.4:

  1. Records that have outlived their administrative usefulness can be destroyed.
  2. Records can be retained for a certain period of time and then destroyed. Refer to records retention schedules to determine how long to keep records.
  3. Records deemed to have lasting value and document the history/mission of the Institute should be transferred to the Institute Archives, where they will be kept permanently in the Institute Archives and made available for research (for the life of the Institute).

Retention schedules

Where can I find record retention schedules?
Record retention schedules are maintained by the Office of the Vice President for Finance.

Protecting sensitive information

For detailed guidelines on protecting sensitive information both for paper and electronic records, consult the Information Protection @ MIT website.

Contact us

Image of a carton prepared for records storage.

Have questions about physical or digital records management?

Contact us at