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SEA Policy Regarding Records Acquisition and Retention

Policy Regarding Records Acquisition and Retention
Society of Early Americanists
August 22, 2012

The following guidelines should inform decisions regarding the record-keeping of the Society of Early Americanists:

1. Founding Documents:
All records of the Society’s establishment, including the original constitution, bylaws, and relevant correspondence will be retained. Any amendments to the constitution and bylaws will be retained. Electronic backups will be kept.

2. Membership Records:
A hard copy of a sample membership form, along with the relevant standard membership communications, shall be retained along with a list of the membership for every year containing the following information: members’ names, institutions, amounts of membership payment, and years of membership purchased. Electronic backups of these lists will be filed.
The membership forms filled out by the members shall be kept for two years. After that time hard copies will be shredded and electronic copies deleted.

3. Publications:
The Society shall retain three copies of every newsletter, conference program, and other documents published and distributed to the Society. Electronic backups will be filed.

4. Conference Planning Documents:
The Society shall keep copies of master planning documents relating to conferences, such as general guidelines, schedules, and budgetary records. Electronic backups will be filed.

All records relating to the planning of individual conferences, including receipts, will be retained for seven years. After seven years receipts and other financial documents will be shredded.

Registration forms will be kept for four years and then destroyed. A list of registrants and their institutions, along with a sample registration form, will be kept in perpetuity in paper and electronic form.

5. Financial Documents:
Bank and credit card statements will be shredded after two years. Regular summaries of the Society’s finances will be kept in perpetuity. The checkbook register will be kept in perpetuity, and electronic backups will be filed.

6. Meeting Records and Reports:
Minutes of business meetings and final reports of the Executive Coordinators will be kept in perpetuity.

Revisions to the Acquisition and Retention of Records Policy:

Changes to the policy should be discussed by the Society’s Executive and Advisory Boards and approved by a 2/3 majority.

Provision for Dissolution:

In the case of the dissolution of the Society, all of the records kept according to the preceding guidelines shall be donated to an appropriate institution to be agreed upon by the Society’s Executive and Advisory boards, where they will be accessible to any readers granted general access to the library’s holdings. Password access to the online records will be given to the library.

Approved by:
Hilary Wyss, President
Kristina Bross, Vice President
Laura Stevens, Executive Coordinator
Susan Imbarrato, Immediate Past President
Raymond Craig, EARAM-L Moderator
Mary Balkun, SEAN editor


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