How should I store paper records?
Per OAR 166-020-0015, records should be:
- Stored in fire-resistant structures,
- Temperature and humidity should be maintained for optimal longevity of the records,
- Adequate light and access is needed to allow for the retrieval of records,
- Adequate ventilation and protection from insects and mold is needed,
- Aisle space in public records storage areas should be kept free of obstruction,
- Public records should not be stacked or piled directly on the floor of any storage area,
- All public records should be shelved above initial flood level of any bursting pipe, leaky roof, sprinkler system, or other source of water,
- No public records of enduring value should be stored where heat, breaks, drips, or condensation from pipes could damage them; where windows, doors, walls, or roofs are likely to admit moisture; or where they will be exposed to sunlight or extreme temperature variations.
How should I store electronic records?
- Public records in electronic form should be backed up on a regular basis (desktop computer storage does not provide adequate accessibility and protection),
- All digital imaging systems that store digitized public records with a retention period of ten years or more shall have system documentation on file with the agency records officer. This documentation shall include a narrative description of the digital imaging system; the retention period of the original records; the header label used in the system; and an estimate of the life expectancy of the digital imaging system. If the life expectancy of the system is less than the retention period of the records it stores, system documentation shall also include a description of how access to digital images of records will be maintained (per OAR 166-017-0020),
- Public records with a scheduled retention period of less than 100 years may be stored on optical disks. The original record may be disposed of following verification of acceptable optical image quality. Images stored on optical disks shall be copied onto new optical disks after no more than ten years. Images must be recopied until the retention period of the original public records has been satisfied (per OAR 166-017-0080(1)),
- Public records with a scheduled retention period of 100 years or more may be stored on optical disk devices provided that the original records are retained in hard copy or on microfilm for the entire scheduled retention period (per OAR 166-017-0080(2)).
Per OAR 166-020-0045, essential records systems,
- Should be identified, regardless of format (analogue or digital),
- Security copies of essential electronic records systems should be stored off the premises where the system is used, along with any system documentation necessary to enable recovery of the system in the event of an emergency,
- Off-site storage conditions shall have temperatures no less than 60 degrees or greater than 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and shall have a relative humidity no greater than 50 percent,
- Off-site storage shall be in fire-resistant structures, with adequate ventilation and protection against insect and mold infestation. No essential records systems shall be stored where heat or moisture can damage them.
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