Records within an office fall into two categories - active or inactive - and these can be in paper or electronic form.

Active records are documents which are still actively being used by an office.  They are usually referenced on a daily or monthly basis. Often times, if in paper, these records will be located in a handy place within the office since they are used frequently.

Inactive records are documents which are no longer referenced on a regular basis and tend to be stored in a less accessible place since they are not used frequently.  Many times records become inactive when they reach their cut-off as defined on a Records Retention Schedule.

When a record has reached its cut-off, it is time to start monitoring the retention period and possibly moving the information to inactive storage to free up office space, or a special folder in your email or on your I: Drive. Inactive paper storage could either be on-site in the building or off-site at the University Records Center.

You can find the retention period including the cut-off of a record on the UW General Records Retention Schedule or your office's Departmental Retention Schedule.