Record Retention Schedules

Ask An Archivist

Record Retention Schedules

Local Government Record Retention Schedules

What are Record Retention Schedules?

Record Retention Schedules are lists of record types, organized by function and then by record title.  Each schedule lists the authorized retention period for that record type.  In the past, the State Archives created separate schedules for each record type for each separate agency office.  Our current retention schedules (below) apply regardless of which office produces the record.  See the example below of grant management records.  This type of record could be created by many different offices, but will be governed the same across state and local government.

How Do I Use the Records Retention Schedules?

Get an introduction

If you’re new to managing your office’s records, start by contacting your Records Analyst.  Our staff can help you understand the retention schedules which apply to your records.  They can also train you to use our RIMS online system to manage your records.  

Below is a 10 minute video, "How Do I Know Which Retention Schedules to Use?"



How long to keep your records

These retention schedules give your agency the legal authority to destroy records, if it chooses, after the records have been retained the established time period as approved by the State Records Committee. (W.S. 9-2-411) If you have reason to keep a record longer, you may continue to house the records on your own.  But keep in mind that records are expensive to maintain, and regardless of who stores them, they may be required as legal evidence.


Sample record retention schedule:recordRetention


    Event codes.  Click on the orange icon below to see a list of the abbreviations noting the length of time which particular records must be retained.  An example is “CP 10” above.


Records with permanent/archival value.  

Elected or appointed officials and their staff are responsible for working with the State Archivist to preserve all historical government records. Our archivists can assist you determining which records are deemed to be archival. To arrange for assistance or for any discussion about the records including whether they may be appropriate for transfer to the State Archives, please call us at 777-7826.


Records involved in litigation.

Retain all records that may be used in pending or current litigation until its settlement. Policies and procedures should be put in place to prevent the destruction of records that would be used in litigation.


Where do I Find My Record Retention Schedules?

 Click on the orange icon below to see a Master list of all the records retention schedules available for any local government agency to use: