Michigan State University

Electronic Records Management

Many of Michigan State University’s official business and historical records are now created in digital form. The University Archives’ collections include born-digital electronic records and in some cases digitized (scanned) copies of paper, audio, and video originals. These records of permanent historical value need to be transferred to the University Archives.

Examples of electronic records that fall under the Archives’ collecting policy include:

  • Official memos and correspondence, including email. We offer a guide for Electronic Mail Records (pdf)
  • Annual reports
  • Policy and procedure statements
  • Speeches and presentations
  • Meeting minutes and agendas
  • Course syllabi and curricula
  • Digital photographs (see below)
  • MSU publications
  • Recorded performances and events
  • Research data
  • Faculty papers

Whether “born digital”—that is, created by a computer, such as a Microsoft Word file—or digitized, consider transferring these electronic records to UAHC. In preparation for eventual transfer, we recommend following good practices in electronic records creation and maintenance.

Digital Photos: What Are Good Candidates?

What is a good photo to send to the archives for permanent preservation? Some criteria to consider are:

  • Campus Scenes
  • Events (colleges, departments, organizations, etc.)
  • People (Students, Faculty, Staff)
  • Campus and its Buildings (Interior and Exterior)

Select the ones that best capture the content. Eliminate multiple copies of the same shot.

Do you have permanent retention electronic records to transfer to the Archives?

These could be records documenting the history of a unit, administration or other functions of permanent retention.

To transfer these permanent electronic records, visit the Electronic Records Submission Tool website.

For more information about this procedure, visit our Transferring Electronic Records page.

Acceptable file formats

File Type File Formats
Digital images and photographs TIFF, JPG, JP2, PCT, PNG, PSD, BMP, GIF, TGA, AI, EPS, SVG
Spreadsheet files XLS, XLSX
Web records HTML
E-mail, including attachments PST, MSG
Audio files WAV, AIFF, MP3, WMA, AC3
Video files* AVI**, MOV**, MPEG-4, WMV, FLV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, SWF
Text files TXT, DOC, DOCX, ODF, ODT, WPD, RTF, PDF
Presentation files PPT, PPTX

*Recommended codecs are: mpeg2, mpeg4, dv, mjpeg2000

** Preferred