Mandate
The Corporate Records and Archives Policy states, “Carleton University’s Corporate Archives will appraise, acquire, preserve, and make accessible those records identified as essential to documenting the history, organization, structure and functions of Carleton University.” In support of this mission, the Archives has a mandate to acquire, preserve and make available archival records that preserve the corporate memory of the University as well as to advise record-creating units on the organization and disposal of their records.

Carleton’s records management program has four priorities:
• To give advice on the creation of filing classification systems that facilitate efficient access to information;
• To ensure that archival material is eventually transferred to the Corporate Archives for permanent preservation;
• To appropriately schedule the disposal of non-archival material;
• To offer the advice necessary to help business and academic units manage records effectively.

A sound records management program can ensure that valuable records are properly maintained from the moment they are created until they are no longer needed. To this end, the Corporate Archives maintains a records retention schedule for the benefit of the University.

Records retention schedules are based on an in-depth analysis of the business functions and records creation of administrative and academic units and are developed with legislative compliance considerations (such as the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act) in mind.

For further information, please consult the Carleton University Corporate Records and Archives Policy.

History
The Carleton University Archives was officially established in April 1994. It was first an administrative unit of the Board of Governors, and was the culmination of 13 years of planning. In 1997, the Archives became a unit of the University Secretariat with the Archivist reporting directly to the University Secretary.

Despite the fact that the University established an Archives Advisory Committee and developed an Archives Policy in the early 1980’s, it did not take steps to establish a formal function until a decade later. In 1994 a small budget was set aside and a professional archivist undertook a part-time assignment to begin the planning and development of an archives and records management program. The Corporate Archives operates under the authority of the University Archives Policy, which was approved by Senior Management Committee in 2009.

Acquisitions
The Corporate Archives collects all non-published information, regardless of form (ie: physical, digital, etc.). This includes records that contain information about the organization, function, procedures, policies, and activities of the University or other information of past, present, or future value to the University. Essentially, the Archives collects and maintains records that support the history and corporate memory of the institution. Material collected by the Archives is limited to records that document the activities of the University.