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Most City offices closed Wednesday, June 19, to observe Juneteenth

The City of Portland recognizes Juneteenth as a formal day of remembrance to honor Black American history and the end of slavery in the United States. Learn about Juneteenth.

I have “Old Stuff.” Can it go to the Archives?

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As you go through the records in your office, you may encounter “old” records.  According to City Code 3.76.050(H), it is a bureau’s duty to inform Archives & Records Management of records that are 25 years or older and to transfer them to the Archives if requested.  In some cases, the old records may simply be copies that can be destroyed. 

So what is considered “historical"? The City’s Archives contains records documenting the important work we do, from legislation and policy decisions, to projects and major initiatives. Most of the City’s historical records have been pre-identified and indicated in the Records Retention Schedule as “permanent.” You may encounter instances where Records Retention Schedules direct you to contact the Archives before destroying; these are for records that may contain certain types of information that have historical significance, e.g. maps, photos, and reports.

What about records you think may be archival but the retention schedules say they should be destroyed? When in doubt, call the Archives for an assessment. Remember that photographs – digital and analog – are almost always historical. Photos documenting our work, the City’s infrastructure, and even our employee celebrations are important facets of our history. Other records and items to keep in mind: videos created on the job, gifts to the City, or memorabilia documenting a project or event.

If you find records that you believe have historical significance, contact Archives and Records Management.