Permanent Record Keeping

How should you maintain records and what do you do with them in retirement? Should you dispose of them? Dick Theye of Mayo taught me how to file research articles: 3x5 file cards, later computerized, and keyed by authors, titles, journal, citation, and abstract; each card (later, each as an individual computer reference) is numbered consecutively, and the articles are filed consecutively in file drawers. The filing system is thus ordered numerically, and easy to search by key words. I now have about 7000 references, and continue to collect data. I maintain them because I remain active in my areas of interest, some are historical and difficult to find, and I can immediately look up any when there's a query. A research friend at retirement destroyed slides, papers, and references, as they were now ‘out of date.' While published papers remain, the history of involvement and the development of ideas and projects are otherwise evanescent sources. I saved these records separate from my reference file system, in individual file folders, beginning with my first research projects, and proceeding chronologically to my last projects. This material is important to those interested in the field.