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A records inventory is defined as the process of locating, identifying and describing all records held by an organization regardless of format or whether active or inactive. Inactive records are those that are accessed infrequently, but are not yet ready for disposal.  

Conducting an Inventory 

The best way to start a records management program is to conduct an inventory that will tell you what records you have and where they are. Benefits to conducting and maintaining an inventory include  
Image.  Staff scanning boxes
  • determining what records you can legally discard through the records retention and disposition process
  • ensuring that historical records are properly preserved; 
  • improving how you organize, retrieve, and control active records through proper files management;  
  • helping to determine storage needs; and 
  • collecting data that will help you prepare a needs assessment and records management plan to guide your program.

Storing Inactive Government Records Offsite in Leased Storage Space 

Local governments and state agencies do not have to store their records in their own facilities. They can store their records in commercial records storage facilities, and state agencies can also store their records at the New York State Archives' State Records Center on the State Office Campus in Albany, New York.  

Setting Up an Inactive Records Storage Area 

Before setting up a storage area for inactive paper records, you should carefully plan for it. You need to consider how to provide security and fire suppression, how you will arrange shelving, and how you will locate and retrieve records from the area among other things. For more information on developing and maintaining a records center, contact your State Archives Records Advisory Officer.