Multi-faceted project that concluded with organization wide record keeping guidance.
Winthrop sent its consultants to review various department files to identify and prepare a list of the various series of records kept by department staff members. The consultants meet with staff members in each of six departments to discuss the records they keep, current retention practices and long-term needs. This led to several initiatives. The first was planning for an upcomming move. Winthrop undertook a records reconnaissance and identified archival records in advance of the institutional move. This enabled the Museum to 1) identify records that would be required during the multi-year period in which it would not be able to occupy the Museum, 2) place in safe, appropriate storage the documentation that would not be needed, 3) avoid the cost of moving records no longer needed, 4) find and retrieve materials needed during the Museum’s renovation phase, and 5) resume full use of the records upon reoccupation of the building.
A second initiative was centered on preparing records retention schedules and records-keeping procedures for selected departments. Six departments and units within the Museum were without records-keeping guidance. Winthrop’s work involved files reviews and discussions with staff members about their records, current retention practices and long-term needs. Schedules and procedures were drafted for preparing files for storage (and eventual disposal) or for transfer to the Archives for review. Winthrop conducted follow-up training sessions with department staff to review the schedules and procedures. In addition, the Winthrop archivist met with Curatorial staff to discuss and update their “Guidelines for Retention” so that they could coordinate with the new retention schedules.