Electronic Records/Data Files

Electronic Records & Data Files

Databases: Back up databases regularly. CSWS does not house other departments’ databases.

Text documents (e.g., WordDocs and Excel Sheets): If your office produces printed documents and retains them in hard copy, the electronic version may be deleted immediately. Physical records that come to the Archives must be printed out on good quality white paper. If a text record must be retained for a period of more than 12 months, then it should be printed out and stored as part of the regular paper office records, due to the inherent instability of the magnetic media and accessibility considerations unique to electronic records.

If the record copy of a document is retained only in electronic form, it should be kept for the time period specified in the Fort Lewis College records retention schedule. Records of financial transactions that are created and/or maintained in electronic form should be retained in that form until they are released from audit. Such records include journals, balance sheets, and ledgers. Even if fiscal documents in electronic form are printed out or converted to microfilm, they must be available for audits in their electronic form. Paper storage is not necessary so long as a document is available online, but a paper copy is required once a document is no longer available electronically if the disposal schedule requires further retention. For instance, pre-BANNER data (pre-1991 for financial, pre-1992 for other data) must be kept in hard copy.

Graphics (either born-digital or scanned): Visual images stored in digital format may be deleted once they are no longer needed for administrative functions.

Email: Most important email messages, such as directives that perform a policy or procedural function, should be printed on paper and filed in the office files. Whoever transmits an email communication is responsible for retention of that message in accordance with the Fort Lewis College retention guidelines for that type of record. Email messages received by an individual or office may be deleted when the messages no longer have administrative value.

Voicemail: Substantive messages should be retained for the automatic storage period of 30 days, then allowed to be automatically deleted from the system at the end of that period. If a message has administrative, fiscal, legal or historical value that exceeds the 30 day period, or if it is in danger of being deleted due to the 10-message limit for 2-minute stored messages, it should be recorded onto audio-cassette tape and/or summarized or transcribed and filed with the office's appropriate administrative files.

Websites and cloud servers: Because files located on public information servers are considered publications, they should be printed out and retained in hard copy exactly as printed publications would be retained and preserved.

Please contact the Archives Manager with questions about digital archives. Please contact IT with questions about preservation of confidential data, information security, or backing up your data.

Please do not include
  • audio and video tapes
  • software used in the record creation or record keeping process (computer software, like the computer hardware necessary to run the software, is considered an office supply or item of equipment, not an electronic record in and of itself)
  • computer programs (unless customized)

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Museum Gallery: Mon - Fri 1 - 4 pm or by appointment

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Center of Southwest Studies
Fort Lewis College
1000 Rim Drive Durango, CO 81301

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Parking: During the Fall and Spring terms, you can purchase parking passes at kiosks located at Fort Lewis College information signs near entrances to campus. Parking is free during the summer semesters, May to August.


Phone Numbers

Main Office: 970-247-7456
Library Reference Desk: 970-382-6982
Archives: 970-247-7126
College Records: 970-382-6951
Museum: 970-247-7333

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