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Born-Digital University Records: Storage Best Practices

This guide is for helping departments learn best-practices, and procedures when it comes to record-keeping

Record Keeping Concepts

File Structure

  • Organizing files ineffectively can cause problems when searching for important documents. 
  • Be sure to use folders to separate similar files, & label those folders with descriptive names, so that you & others can find the folders & files they need in the future. 

File Naming

  • Most of us don't think about how we name our files, but implementing a File Naming Convention can greatly cut down on time spent searching through files in order to find the correct document. 
  • To start using a File Naming Convention consider using full, descriptive titles, so you & others can find the appropriate files more quickly.(Ex. committee_meeting_minutes.docx, instead of 
  • Don't use spaces or special punctuation in your file names, as they do not always translate to all formats or programs. Instead of spaces, use underscores or camel case (Ex. meetingMinutes.docx, or meeting_minutes.docx
  • Also consider the creation, or use date in the file name. For similar documents, or updated versions, dates can act as version control, & can also bring context as to when the file was active. (Ex. 2017-07-23_meeting_minutes.docx)

File Format

  • While the Goldmine Repository does not require adherence to a specific file format, it's important to note a-typical formats that could require the use of proprietary software to open. Over time a-typical files can be deemed inaccessible if they are unable to be opened, due to software constraints. 
  • If you currently hold any archival records in proprietary formats, please contact the University Archivist on how to best deal with these records. 

Record Keeping Tips

Contact the University Archives

To request access to University Archives, to make a donation or records transfer, or to request other records services, please contact the Special Collections & University Archives at or 704-687-1170.