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Records Management
Records Management, Introduction
MUA Records Management Services

Please Note

Records Transfer Procedures

Attention McGill Staff

Please be advised that the McGill University Archives (MUA) will no longer accept transferred records without explicit prior authorization from MUA staff. Authorization will take the form of a confirmation email, sent to your unit from MUA staff, upon receipt and review of the transfer documentation.

Documentation required includes an accurate file list of the material you wish to transfer. Instructions for completing the file list can be obtained by contacting the email address below.

Please note that any boxes received by the University Archives without the proper authorization will be sent back to your unit, at your unit's expense.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at

Records management is a systematic approach to the economical and effective management of the records produced by an organisation. The McGill University Archives (MUA) is responsible for McGill University's Records Management, a program aimed at regulating the flow of administrative records and the overall efficient management of University records.

The principal tool of the program is MURRS (McGill University Records Retention Schedule), a compilation of rules guiding when and if records can be destroyed.

MURRS was produced by the MUA in 1985 in compliance with provincial legislation requiring public bodies to have a records retention schedule.

MURRS is updated annually by the MUA, in consultation with the University's Legal Services Office and records creators — the rules should reflect any University and legislative requirements around record-keeping but must also be a reasonable reflection of current campus record-keeping practices. Revisions to MURRS are submitted to the provincial government for approval.

MURRS lists records series (or types of records) kept by each University office, and provides information on the period (in years) and place (office of creation, University Archives) they should be retained. MURRS also designates record types that should be kept permanently or destroyed when no longer needed.

Destruction of McGill University records requires the joint written authorization of the University Archivist and the office responsible for the records. If your office destroys records locally, contact the University Archives for more information on ensuring your local practices are compliant with MURRS. Note that currently destruction services are free of charge to University offices (for records reflected in MURRS).

The retention periods for a records are based on administrative, legal and historical value. The administrative value is based on the record's usefulness for the transaction of present or future administrative matters, legal value concerns record keeping requirements as set out by law and historicalvalue reflects the record's long-term interest for the purposes of research regarding the University activities.

The frequency of consultation determines the record's storage location. When first created and for the period of time that the record is in constant use (active phase) it should be kept in the office where it was created or accumulated.

As the record ages and the usage declines it falls into a semi-active phase when it should be transferred to the MUA's records centre. Eventually, records of permanent value (5-10% of all records), are transferred to the MUA's permanent storage.

The University Archives welcomes feedback on MURRS from University offices, particularly if the existing rules do not reflect record-keeping practices and/or if new types of records created are not reflected in the rules. MURRS is a working document on record-keeping practices -- the input of University offices is essential to maintaining its currency.

Additional services are available to University offices to help complement the application of MURRS. These include semi-active records storage and file retrieval service, a systematic destruction program for valueless (including confidential) records, and the design of filing or classification systems.

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Last updated April 22, 2015 McGill University ©