Managing Essential (Vital) Records

Important points

  • only a small percentage of records are deemed 'essential' or 'vital'. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) estimates that only 1-7% of an agency's records are essential or vital in nature.
  • the length of time records are retained is not an indication that they are essential or vital records nor does a records designated as essential always remain essential.
  • essential records may be in any format or medium but note that the ability to access the record is mandatory so appropriate technology must be available for retrieval if the document is not in hard copy.
  • the essential record copy need not be the original of a document.

Jefferson Lab's Essential Records Coordinators have been trained to identify and protect vital records for their respective areas. Your Coordinator can be found here. Not all groups have a need for a vital records coordinator.


Records-Related Links