SFU Records Retention Schedule and Disposal Authority (RRSDA)
Cartographic Records

Description | PIB | Authorities | Retentional rational | Rentention and filing guidelines | Status

RRSDA number


Record series

Cartographic Records

Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR)

Geography, Department of

Retention periods

Records Active retention (in office) Semi-active (records centre) Total retention Final disposition
Cartographic Job Files CY job file closed +1 year Nil CY job file closed + 1 year Destruction
Cartographic Reference Records Indefinite Nil Indefinite Destruction

CY = Current calendar year; CFY = Current fiscal year; CS = Current semester; S/O = Superseded or obsolete; OPR = Office of Primary Responsibility; Non-OPR = All other departments.

Description, purpose and use of records

Records relating to the provision of cartographic services by the Department of Geography. The Department's cartographer is responsible for researching, designing and drafting maps, diagrams, overhead transparencies and other visual materials to meet the teaching and research needs of faculty, staff, and occasionally other departments. Cartographic records created by the Department of Geography's Cartographer are generally used as teaching aids or as illustrative material for publications. This RRSDA covers two record aggregations created as a byproduct of these services: cartographic job files and cartographic reference records.

Cartographic job files are analogous to textual working or transitory files and are created in the process of producing a map, diagram, overhead transparency, etc. Currently, transitory cartographic records are maintained electronically and are created using a variety of computer software applications, including Correl Draw and Photopaint; Adobe Illustrator, PageMaker, Photoshop, and Acrobat; MS Office Suite; ArcView GIS; and Macromedia Freehand. Previous to the adoption of computer technologies, all cartographic records were created by lithographic and/or photomechanical processes. Primary documentary forms included draft sketches on tracing and graph paper, phototypesetter worksheets, scribed polyester sheets, colour separation sheets and composites, proof copies subject to final revision, annotated publication size prints, and similar items whose informational content is duplicated by the final cartographic record. This RRSDA covers cartographic job files in both electronic and hard-copy form.

A file is opened for each cartographic job undertaken by the Department's cartographer and arranged by a 5 digit consecutive job number. The first two digits indicate the year the job file was opened and the last three represent a sequential numbering of jobs within the year (e.g. 67001, 67002, 67003, etc.).

Cartographic reference records are final version copies of the maps, diagrams, overhead transparencies and other visual materials produced by the Department's Cartographer. The Department of Geography's Cartography Lab is the Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR) for maintaining copies of all such final versions. A complete set of cartographic reference records are organized in binders (labeled by year) on 81/2 x 11 inserts or in map cabinets (if oversized). A complete set is maintained in the Cartography Lab as a ready reference resource.


These records are created, used, retained and managed in accordance with the following authorities:

Retention rationale

Cartographic job files covered by this RRSDA have no long-term value. The files are transitory in nature, comprised of interim records created for the sole purpose of producing a final, authoritative cartographic record or publication.

Cartographic reference records have value as a back-up resource, providing the Department's Cartographer with a means of reconstructing work done if additional copies or revisions to records are requested by staff, faculty or other departments at later dates.

Retention and filing guidelines

Currently, the Department of Geography's Cartographer maintains cartographic job files on his hard-drive in a electronic folder labeled "projects". This folder contains additional nested folders or subfolders in the following hierarchical order: folders titled by year (e.g. 2002) and folders titled by consecutive job number (e.g. 2002-001). A job file (or electronic folder) may contain several records (or electronic files) created with a variety of software packages (see Description above). These records are backed-up weekly on CD. Open job files also are backed-up regularly on the Spatial Information Systems (SIS) Lab's server. Electronic cartographic job files created between 1991 and 2001 have been burned to CDs.

Cartographic reference records are maintained in hard-copy form, organized in binders (labeled by year) on 81/2 x 11 inserts or in map cabinets (if oversized).


RRSDA is in force.

Approved by the University Archivist: 17 Sep 2002

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