Archives and Manuscript Repository for the Continuing Presbyterian Church

Manuscript Collections :
Synthetic Collections :

Records Management Program

Both agencies and local churches may find the records retention schedule shown below to be a help in determining when files are needed and when they should be transferred to the PCA Historical Center.  The schedule is based on normal management practice, except where records might have permanent documentary value to record the work of the PCA.
It is important that administrators and office personnel have ready access to needed files.  It also is vital to clear away unneeded files that hamper efficiency.  Continual interfiling in a dated system or filling boxes or cabinets with unused materials is poor stewardship of time and energy. 
We suggest that non-computerized files be transferred to the Historical Center if you refer to them less than three or four times a year.  Send a request for records transfer to the office of the Stated Clerk.  The transfer will be handled as soon as is possible.
Hard copies of electronic files are preferable to disks or other electronic formats.  This is because the Center may not have the needed means of retrieval and because electronic storage media are notoriously fragile.  Important records should always be backed up on paper. 
If possible, records awaiting transfer should be kept in the cabinets or boxes in their original order.  Give each box a number and carefully label the outside of each box with a designation of what is inside, to help the Center’s staff as they receive the shipment.  Prepare a box-by-box content list, send one copy to the Historical Center, and keep one copy in your files.  If a box is lost in shipment, this list will be invaluable.
As records are received and accessioned in St. Louis an initial inventory is prepared.  You will receive a copy of this preliminary inventory.  Keep this list until you receive the final inventory listing, which will give a complete description of each file and its location.  Listings that contain no sensitive materials may be posted to the Internet at the Historical Center’s web page (www.pcanet.org/history), for your added convenience.
Priority is given to processing of agency records for which the Center has received a processing assessment.  Other records are stored in their original order in acid-free boxes for processing as time and funds permit.  Reference requests may be made on processed or unprocessed collections by authorized personnel.
To access files refer to your inventory or describe what is needed by letter, telephone or email.  Note whether you need information, copies or originals and your time-requirement, if any. 
Remember that access to some files is restricted by that department, and all personnel records are restricted for a defined period of time.  Have the department director’s written authorization sent to the Center if access to restricted files is involved.

In Review:

1.  Age:  Records over five years old generally will not be needed and can be sent to the PCA Historical Center.

2.  Original Order:  Remove records from cabinets & place in shipping boxes while maintaining original order. 

3.  Markings:  Number and mark outside of boxes with content summary. 

4.  Packing List:  Keep a list of the contents for your files and send a copy on to the Historical Center.

5.  Feedback:  File the temporary and permanent inventories as you receive them. 

6.  Access:  Use the Historical Center to access materials as needed.  Reference your filed inventory lists or use the search engine on the Historical Center's web page to locate needed items, and then request materials as needed from the Historical Center..

7.  Safety:  When making copies, always purchase and use acid-free paper.  It costs no more and will last far longer.

[P =  Permanent; O =  Optional; Numbers = Years]
Accounting and Fiscal
Accounts Payable/Receivable P Donor Records P
Balance Sheets P Drafts Paid 8
Bank Statements/Reconciliations P Estimates/Projections P
Budget Work Sheets                 P Expense Reports*  5
Cash Receipts/Disbursements P Financial Statements (cert.) P
Cash Sales Slips 3 Financial Statements (period) P
Cash Slips  3 Fixed Capital Records P
Check Records* 7 General Journal/Supporting Records P
Check Register 10 General Ledger P
Checks, Voucher  6 Payroll Register P
Checks, Warrant  P Property Records P
Correspondence, Accounting P Trial Balance Sheets P
Cost Account Records P    
[*Reviewed and selected sample saved as permanent record of accounting methods and events within organization.]
Audit Reports/Documentation P Research/Development P
Correspondence (all types) P System/Procedure Records P
Inventory O Telegram/Telephone Records P
Marketing/Advertising P Purchasing  O
Corporate and Denominational
Annual Reports P Incorporation Records p
Appropriations  P Meeting Dockets and Minutes P
Capital Stock Records P Policy Statements and Handbooks P
Charters, Constitution, Bylaws P Publications (sample copy of each) P
Amendments P Research/Reports/Notes P


Sermons/Speeches P
Election Records O    
Affidavits  P Copyrights/Trademarks P
Charters P Mortgages O
Claims/Litigation  P    
Personnel and Insurance
Accident Reports and Claims P Employee Earnings and Paychecks P
Applications for Employment P Employee Service Records P
Attendance Records 6 Evaluations O
Claims for Hospital/Health/Life  P Field Reports P
Correspondence P Withholding Tax Information 8
Disability/Sickness Benefits 8* Workmen’s Compensation 10
Employee Allowances/Expenses       
[*Some reports optional or duplications.]