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State Government Records Preserved

Records are generated by state government agencies to fulfill the requirements of state law. These records are created to assist government agencies in fulfilling their legal mandates. A small percentage of the records which agencies generate are preserved to:

  1. Protect individual citizens’ rights
  2. Allow government agencies to conduct business in an efficient manner
  3. Afford citizens access to records with which they can hold government and government officials accountable for their actions
  4. Maintain records which have historical value which were unintended when they were created

Records Management of State Government Records

Each year thousands of records are generated and collected by state government agencies to fulfill mandated programs and responsibilities. The Code of Iowa provides that all records created in the course of conducting state business are public records. Iowa has established a State Records Management Program with a State Records Commission comprised of ranking state officials to evaluate records as they are created by state government to determine how long individual records must be kept to: protect the rights of Iowa’s citizens, meet the administrative, fiscal and legal requirements for the records in the agency, and identify the records of enduring historical value to be preserved permanently by the state.

Under the Records Management System, Records Officers for each agency of state government assist their agency officials with identification of records series and with preparation and/or revision of records retention schedules for approval by the State Records Commission.

The State Records Manual identifies records by series and establishes the time-frames for preservation of these records.

The manual is arranged by retention schedule reference number. Use the find option to locate a particular record series by title or reference number. For a listing of all of your agency/department record series: (1) right click the first page, (2) select “Show Navigation Pane Button”, (3) click on the Benchmark Button which is the second icon down on the left, and (4) click on your agency or department. The series which appear are those for which your department is the agency of record. For general agency-wide series retention schedules click on Agency.

For a complete up to date listing of the all retention schedules including those revised after July 18, 2010, refer to the Infolinx Records Management System, discussed below.

State Records Center

In addition to providing agencies with assistance in scheduling their records, the State Archives and Records Program is responsible for operating the State Records Center which provides offsite warehouse storage for non-permanent state government records. However, only record series scheduled for transfer to the State Records Center are eligible for transfer to the Records Center. All records stored at the State Records Center remain in the custody of the agency and access to the records is provided through the agency, while records scheduled for permanent preservation which are sent to the State Archives are transferred to custody of the State Archives.

Using Infolinx. To transfer records to the State Records Center, agency records officers need to use Infolinx, a web based records management system used for inventory control of state government records at the State Records Center. Infolinx may also be used for inventory control in the agency. All Records Series Retention Schedules are current in Infolinx. The URL for Infolinx is

Contact staff at the State Archives and Records Program for setting up a username and password for Infolinx. Listed below are step by step instructions in using the Infolinx system for specific functions:

  • Looking-Up Retention Schedules and Reference Numbers.
  • Creating a New Box in Infolinx
  • Creating a Transfer Place and Transferring Records to the State Records Center
  • Printing Labels of Newly Created Boxes
  • Retrieving Boxes from State Records Center.
  • Identifying where boxes are held (in agency or in State Records Center)
  • Determining the Destruction Date Established for a Box

Records officers may request assistance with records management questions such as how to establish or make changes in records retention and disposition schedules from State Archives and Records Program staff. They may also seek assistance concerning the use of Infolinx including how to set up usernames and passwords, transfer records to the State Records Center and retrieve records from the Records Center.

Guides to records from individual state agencies at the State Archives are available in the State Historical Society of Iowa’s reading room in Des Moines. See the listing of State of Iowa Record Groups.


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