March 2, 2010
National Archives Opens Access to Federal Agency Records Schedules
New web initiative places records schedules since 1985 online
Washington, DC…The National Archives and Records Administration unveiled today a new portal on its web site providing access to scanned images of Federal agency records schedules since 1985. For the first time, these records can be seen at National Archives Records Control Schedule (RCS) web site [http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/rcs/].
Archivist David S. Ferriero praised this development: “Providing access to agency records schedules supports the Administration’s goals of transparency, participation, and collaboration by letting citizens more easily know what kinds of records their Government creates. The online availability of approved schedules promotes better understanding of Federal Government business processes and the records they create. The portal will provide Federal agencies easy access to all National Archives-approved schedules for research and analysis associated with their agencies’ records scheduling efforts.”
By statute, the Archivist of the United States grants Federal agencies the legal authority to carry out disposition actions against their records. These authorities are proposed by Federal agencies, approved by the Archivist, and documented for action through a Standard Form (SF) 115, Request for Records Disposition Authority, also referred to as “records schedule.”
The SF 115 contains descriptions of record series (a grouping of related records) or systems and the disposition instructions for each. These National Archives-approved disposition instructions specify when the series is to be cut off, when eligible records are to be moved to off-site storage, when eligible temporary records must be destroyed or deleted, and when permanent records are to be transferred to the National Archives.
The National Archives Records Control Schedule (RCS) web site [http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/rcs/] contains scanned versions of the paper SF 115s submitted from 1985 to the present. Records schedules for the period between 1973 and 1985 will soon be added to the site. Newly approved schedules will be posted weekly. All SF 115s have been converted to PDF file format and are listed by agency name and National Archives-assigned record group number. Records schedules can be searched by the National Archives job number (e.g., N1-423-09-001), by agency name (Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs), by National Archives record group (RG 423), or by keyword or subject (e.g., grants).
For technical questions about the RCS web site, e-mail LSSP_Team@nara.gov.
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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.