Michigan State University

Due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus situation, the University Archives Reading Room is closed to researchers until further notice. During this time, we will continue to provide email and telephone reference support though responses may be delayed. If you have any questions, please contact us.


On March 16, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an Executive Order temporarily closing many public spaces. All academic libraries are included in this order. The Main Library is closed, but we still offer virtual services and many resources do remain available. Please see our Online and Distance Learning resource page for specific Library resources. Reference services are still available via chat and phone. We do have temporary policies for returning/renewing material.

Retention Schedules

What is a retention schedule?

A retention schedule is a document defining the retention period and disposition of the records created by an organization or academic unit. Retention schedules are designed to meet the requirements of:

  • Federal statutes, laws, regulations, and legal decisions
  • State laws
  • MSU regulations and policies

The retention schedule will typically identify the records series, records description, retention period, disposition of the records, office of record, and any additional information or notes.

Please note that all records pertaining to ongoing or pending audits, lawsuits or even reasonably anticipated lawsuits, and public disclosure proceedings may not be destroyed, damaged, or altered until the issue is resolved and an office or unit has been specifically advised that such records may be destroyed. Any of these conditions supersedes the retention period listed in the retention schedule, and records destruction will be suspended.

UAHC accepts transfer both temporary and permanent paper records once the records have been deemed inactive by offices.

Temporary records will be stored in the University’s records management program. These records will be held until they have reached the end of their retention period; then, UAHC will contact the appropriate office to approve records destruction. Temporary records may only be viewed by the office that sent them to the Archives; they are not publicly available.

Permanent records will be processed by Archivists and become part of the University’s archival collections. These records will be publicly available once processing is complete.