American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Best Archival Practices for ACS Chapters

Records—both physical and digital—are invaluable to current and future chapter members as well as the American College of Surgeons as a whole, informing and guiding members about past activities, leadership, and priorities.

What to Keep

  • Original and revised Charters
  • Membership rosters
  • Meeting agendas, minutes, photographs
  • Official correspondences and newsletters
  • Original and revised bylaws
  • Financial statements
  • Programs from educational meetings
  • Other significant records as determined

Managing Your Records

Designate one individual, such as the Executive Director/Chapter Administrator, to act as the record keeper. The record keeper is responsible for long-term management as well as collecting new records at least once per year.

  • Create an inventory of records (for example, Excel or Google Sheets)
  • Physical material should be stored in labeled folders inside a storage box, and placed in a dry, secure, and easily accessible location
  • Digital material should be stored on an accessible device or storage site, such as an external hard drive, flash drive, or in the cloud (for example, Dropbox, Google Drive). Storing copies in two different locations is recommended.

Below is a basic example of what the records registry could look like:




Record Type

Storage Location

Collected/Stored By

Meeting Minutes, Jan 2018

2019, Jan 2

Ohio Chapter


Ohio Chapter - 2018 Documents

L. Moreau

Meeting Agenda, June 2018

2018, Jun 8

Ohio Chapter


Box 1, folder 1, Meeting Minutes and Agendas

L. Moreau

2010 Membership Roster


Ohio Chapter


Box 1, folder 2, Membership Rosters

L. Moreau

Tips for Long-Term Success

  • Do not use acronyms and abbreviations. They can lose meaning over time.
  • Involve your chapter! Educate key records creators (in particular, chapter leadership) for increased support.
  • Designate a secondary record keeper who knows the process in the event that the record keeper role is passed on to a new administrator or member. It is just as important to know how to find your records as it is to collect them.