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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to treat my e-mail as government "records," and if so, how?

Under certain circumstances e-mails created or received by an employee must be treated as government records, and, as such, managed and disposed of according to applicable Federal law, regulation, and policy. In making decisions in this regard, employees should use the same judgment they use when determining whether hardcopy materials, e.g., memos, letters, reports, etc., merit the status of "record". When messages being exchanged on e-mail merit such status the e-mail must be printed out and filed with related records in the official files of the employee's organization.

When filing e-mails that merit the status of "records" it is essential to include in the hardcopy file both the message in the body of the e-mail as well as it's attachments and transmission data. The transmission data includes "header" - who sent the message, the addressees and any other recipients, and when it was sent. This information must be appended to the file.

Click here for more FAQs concerning email records.

What is the cost to store records at the Washington National Records Center (WNRC)?

For fiscal year 2008, the cost is $3.45 per cubic foot.

How do I handle mail from a records management point of view?

See NARA website for further information.

I think the records I have may be of historical significance. What should I do?

Please visit the NIH History Office website at:



Last updated on: 10/23/2007

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