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Retention and Disposition Schedules

The New York State Archives developed the following records retention and disposition schedules in partnership with state and local governments. For general information about records scheduling and destruction, see Publication #41, Retention and Disposition of Records: How Long to Keep Records and How to Destroy Them, or attend our workshop on Using State Archives Retention Schedules.

State agency retention and disposition schedules:

All agency records must be scheduled prior to destruction, temporary storage at the State Records Center, or permanent transfer to the State Archives. Agencies should email us at recmgmt@nysed.gov for copies or listings of current agency-specific schedules or to update obsolete or inaccurate schedule items. The State Archives appraises records and acquires, preserves, and makes available agency records of enduring historical or research value.

Picture of NYS Records Center Stacks

Local government retention and disposition schedules:

The State Archives revised and consolidated its local government records retention and disposition schedules and issued a single, comprehensive retention schedule for all types of local governments on August 1st, 2020. The new schedule, Retention and Disposition Schedule for New York Local Government Records (LGS-1), supersedes and replaces the CO-2,  MU-1, MI-1, and ED-1 Schedules. Local governments must adopt the LGS-1 prior to utilizing it, even if they adopted and have been using the existing schedules, and will have until January 1st, 2021 to do so. For adopting the LGS-1, a fillable PDF copy of a model resolution form is available. For more information, visit our LGS-1 press release and List of Major Revisions.

Local governments are responsible for preserving and making available records marked as permanent on the schedule and those they have determined to have historical value. While the State Archives can provide guidance on appraising local government records for their enduring historical or research value, local governments should consult the Archives' publication titled Appraisal of Local Government Records for Historical Value (Pub #50). For more information contact your Regional Advisory Officer (RAO) or the Scheduling Unit for assistance.

New Local Government Schedule

 
Note: The Retention and Disposition Schedule for New York Local Government Records (LGS-1) supersedes and replaces the existing schedules listed below. Local governments must adopt the LGS-1 between August 1st, 2020 and January 1, 2021 to continue to legally destroy records. The existing schedules listed below may continue to be use during this time period and until the LGS-1 is adopted. For more information, refer to our List of Major Revisions.
 
LGS-1: schedule for use by
  • cities
  • towns
  • villages
  • fire districts
  • counties
  • school districts
  • BOCES
  • teacher resource and computer training centers
  • county vocational education and extension boards
  • miscellaneous local governments

Existing Local Government Schedules

 
Note: These Schedules have been replaced by the LGS-1. Local governments must adopt LGS-1 prior to utilizing it, even if they adopted and have been using the CO-2, MU-1, MI-1, or ED-1 Schedules. Governing boards of local governments will have a five-month period – between August 1st, 2020 and January 1st, 2021 (when the four existing schedules expire) – to adopt the LGS-1 by resolution (a model resolution is available). If a local government has not adopted the LGS-1 by January 1, 2021, it may not legally dispose of any records:
 
  • CO-2 schedule for counties
  • ED-1 schedule for school districts, BOCES, and other educational governments
  • MU-1 schedule for municipalities, including fire districts
  • MI-1 schedule for all miscellaneous governments

County Boards of Elections Schedule

Retention and disposition of court records

The Unified Court System developed separate retention and disposition schedules for court records as well as guidelines for destroying court records. Courts are responsible for managing their records, including permanent or historically significant records, with the following exceptions: 
  • the State Archives acquires pre-1848 records of trial and appellate courts and post-1847 records of certain appellate courts, including the State Court of Appeals. 
  • each county clerk has custody of the records of the supreme or county court in his or her respective county. 
  • records and dockets of town and village courts are “the property of the village or town of the residence of such justice” (per Uniform Justice Court Law § 2019-a). Upon retirement, all village or town justices must file the records in their custody in the office of the clerk of their respective village or town courts. In the case of the abolishment of a village court, the active records must deposited with the town court to see through to the disposition of the case, but disposed cases remain with the village for the duration of their retention periods.

Retention and disposition of legislative records

Legislative Law requires the “secretary or clerk of each house” to maintain all “legislative papers and documents” of their respective houses and identifies the retention periods for specific Senate and Assembly records (per Legislative Law §22, §22-a, and §22-b). The law also indicates that any house of the legislature that wants to dispose of records must first notify the Commissioner of Education to allow the Commissioner to assess the materials for potential historical value. Any records deemed to have historical value must then be transferred to “depositories designated by the temporary president of the senate” or “the speaker of the assembly.” The Arts and Cultural Affairs Law authorizes the State Archives to appraise, acquire, preserve, and make available legislative records (per Arts and Cultural Affairs Law § 57.05). The State Archives has acquired records of the legislature, including records of individual legislators.

Retention and disposition of non-government records

State Archives records retention and disposition schedules do not cover non-government records, including the records of non-profit organizations, commercial ventures, and private individuals. Retention requirements relating to non-government records may, however, be found in certain state or federal laws or in contractual agreements. In addition, non-government entities can consult and adopt (as appropriate) State Archives retention requirements, because the legal basis for retaining records for a certain period of time is frequently the same for government and non-government records.
 
In addition, for guidance on developing retention and disposition schedules in non-government organizations, contact ARMA International. If you actively collect the historical records of another organization, individual, or group, develop a collecting policy to determine what to accept and retain permanently as part of your repository. For more information on developing a collecting policy, see our publication, Strengthening New York's Historical Records Program: A Self-Study Guide. Contact the State Archives at (518) 474-6926 or via email if your status as an agency or unit of government is unclear.