Queries on Records for Local Meetings

The following queries will be useful in helping local meetings examining their practices for keeping and preserving records.

  1. Has the meeting appointed some Friend to be responsible for gathering the permanent records and arranging to send them to the NEYM Archives at SCUA at regular intervals? Are members of the meeting familiar with the Archives Collection Policy?
  2. If you are printing minutes, newsletters, and other records, are you printing on acid-free paper? (Although desirable, this is not required). If you use a computer to record minutes, or to store minutes and other records, do you have multiple copies stored in multiple locations?
  3. Do you keep your records in places secure from conditions that will damage them, such as attics or basements? If your meeting house cannot provide optimal storage for records (temperatures maintained at 65 to 70 degrees and humidity levels at 45 to 55%) have you contacted the NEYM Archives Committee for assistance on safe records storage?
  4. Does the meeting have exact records of all of its business agreements, trusts, and conveyances governing its finances and property?
  5. Does the committee in charge of any burial grounds keep an accurate record of the location of graves?
  6. Does the recorder keep full records of births, marriages, divorces, deaths, interments or cremations, statistical reports, and decennial membership lists? Has the recorder reported to the meeting within the past year?
  7. Is there a disposition or retention schedule which shows what has happened and is happening to the records the meeting creates and collects?
  8. Have Friends considered conducting oral history interviews with experienced Friends? If you have questions about oral history or videotaping feel free to ask SCUA for help. If you have already conducted oral history interviews, have you obtained a signed release form from the interviewees?
  9. Does the meeting from time to time hold a session to consider its history? Does it contact the NEYM Archives Committee for assistance in this endeavor?
  10. Is the meeting familiar with Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s Handbook on Records: Their Creation, Maintenance, and Preservation in the Meeting?