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Once you have selected someone to do the inventory, make sure they understand the information you need and the goals of the inventory. Your office may wish to use the Sample Records Inventory Worksheet as a guide for performing an inventory. “The general goals of the inventory should include

  • Identifying the various records series in each office,
  • Describing all record locations and storage conditions,
  • Providing dates and other useful information,
  • Measuring space and equipment occupied by records, and
  • Providing a basis for writing records retention schedules.”[1]

The inventory will be beneficial to your office in a number of ways. 

  • Obviously, it will tell you exactly what records you have and where to find them. This alone will increase the efficiency of your office. 
  • It will help locate records that you can get rid of. Using the inventory and the records retention schedules for your office, you will probably discover a number of records that are unnecessarily taking up space in your office or your storage area.
  • It will identify records that are in danger. Paper records can be easily damaged by water or even excessive humidity or other environmental problems. If your inventory finds evidence of water damage to records, mold and mildew, or signs of damage from vermin, insects or other pests, take steps to remedy these problems before your office loses vital information.

                [1]  Managing Records on Limited Resources A Guide for Local Governments, Stephen E. Haller, CRM, issued by the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators, November 11, 1991, p. 3.