Princeton University Records Management

A file cabinet drawer full of hanging files.

Welcome to Records Management at Princeton!

Princeton University Records Management provides records services to university staff, assisting departments in all aspects of managing university records. Our team helps departments create file naming, storage, and retention plans for paper and electronic records, and we facilitate temporary records storage, retrieval, and destruction services in conjunction with Princeton Facilities. In addition to providing direction regarding when and how to destroy obsolete records we also facilitate the transfer of permanent records to the University Archives.

Records management is the systematic control of records throughout their lifecycle - from their creation or receipt to their disposal or transfer to the University Archives. Being mindful of the records we create and how we manage them has many benefits. It ensures that records of enduring historical, administrative, legal, or fiscal value are captured and preserved. It also allows for the timely destruction of records that are non-essential so that we may minimize litigation risks, reduce operating costs, and improve organization.

All University employees are responsible for managing the records in their custody. The University-wide Records Management Principles provide guidance for employees to support their records management efforts.

Princeton University Records Management is located in the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, home of the University Archives.

Please note an important change to records storage procedures: as of January 2020 all records-related requests (inventory/scheduling/storage/retrieval/destruction) now go through Princeton University Records Management. Please do not contact Facilities Customer Service or staff at 755 Alexander directly for records services. Instead, please send an email to [email protected], or call Kathleen Brennan at 609-258-1737 for assistance. 


The University Archivist, as authorized by the Board of Trustees, is responsible for determining which University records may be destroyed and which records are to be transferred to the University Archives to be retained permanently for administrative and historical use. The University Records Manager, in concert with the University Archivist, works with those responsible for creating and managing University records to identify and classify permanent and non-permanent records and to establish a management plan for those records. 

History of Records Management at Princeton

Since 1959, by decree of President Robert F. Goheen, Princeton’s University Archivist has been the authority on all matters pertaining to the management of University records.

In 2007, Princeton University’s Executive Compliance Committee, in conjunction with the University Archivist, published an internal set of records management guidelines for University staff, including records retention and disposition guidelines as well as other information on records management-related topics.

In 2011, the University hired a University Records Manager, who reports to the University Archivist, to formalize the records management program through revision and expansion of the records retention and disposition guidelines and the development of outreach and training programs. The records management website provides information about the records management program and serves as a clearinghouse for records-related information for University academic and administrative staff.

In 2017, the Executive Compliance Committee approved a University-wide Records Management Principles document that was created by University Records Management in conjunction with the Office of Audit and Compliance and the Office of General Counsel. This document provides a framework for records management at Princeton, with an emphasis on the creation of records retention plans for each functional area of the university.