SFU Records Retention Schedule and Disposal Authority (RRSDA)

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

RRSDA number


Record series


Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR)

Creative Studio

Retention periods

Records Active retention (in office) Semi-active (records centre) Total retention Final disposition
Events, faculty and staff portraits, stock/promo (Creative Studio) CY + 5 years N/A CY + 5 years Selective retention
Events, faculty and staff portraits, stock/promo images (all other departments) CY + 2 years N/A CY + 2 years Selective retention
Classroom or instruction, student ID or head shots, external client projects, all other images (all departments) CY + 1 year N/A CY + 1 year 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CY = Current calendar year; CFY = Current fiscal year; CS = Current semester; S/O = Superseded or obsolete; OPR = Office of Primary Responsibility; Non-OPR = All other departments.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

Photographs are taken by Creative Studio staff to meet the imaging needs of the University, including documenting university events, illustrating university publications and publicity materials, and a variety of other creative and administrative purposes. They relate to all aspects of SFU's activities and events and may include images of faculty, staff, administrators, students and visitors, as well as SFU events and special occasions, various SFU buildings, landscapes, ceremonies, and stock and promotional images.

Records may include, but are not limited to the following records: images in raw or processed format (e.g. .nef, .dmg, .jpg, .tiff, etc.), metadata files that capture information about the images (e.g. .xmp, etc.), and design files (e.g. from programs such as Illustrator, InDesign, etc.). See File Format Registry for approved file formats that are accepted for transfer to the Archives.

Since 2004, all Creative Studio photographs have been created and maintained in digital format. Some earlier images may include scanned analogue images, which are also covered by this retention schedule.

Other departments, including academic departments, may also produce photographic records that fulfill a similar purpose using external photographers or their own equipment. Photographs taken by other departments are ALSO covered under this RRSDA. However, do not send images commissioned from Creative Studio to the Archives. The Archives will instead acquire commissioned images directly from Creative Studio.

See also:

Personal Information Bank (PIB)

This series is a Personal Information Bank; click here for PIB description.


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

Retention rationale

A total retention period of "CY + 5 years" provides a sufficient time frame in which Creative Studio may repurpose photographs for use in other productions or to make them available to the university community through the Image Library for purchase. After the passage of five years, staff typically judge the aesthetics and design styles of older photographs to be outdated. Event images, faculty and staff portraits, and stock/promo images will be transferred to the Archives.

All other images may be deleted after "CY + 1 year".

Retention and filing guidelines

Photographs are stored in various formats, including lossless and lossy compression formats. Images are organized in folders by shoot name (e.g. name of event, name of person, etc.).

Image selection takes place close to the time of the shoot to refine the number and quality of images that will be sent to the client. Unselected images are deleted. Selected images are edited, processed, and sent to the client in a compressed format.

In some cases, a secondary level of selection will occur in Creative Studio. A small number of processed images with high reuse potential will be saved and transferred to the RAID server and/or SFU Image Library (image repository available for SFU use). Basic metadata, including document title, author/photographer name, basic description, and keywords are added to the selected files to improve retrievability by Creative Studio and to aid in user retrieval for images offered to the campus community through the Image Library.

Images of events, faculty and staff portraits, and stock/promo images are to be sent to the Archives. Images not identified for selective retention by Creative Studio may be deleted after CY + 1 year if there is no foreseeable need to re-use the images.


Check the Archives' file format registry for approved formats before transferring images to the Archives. After CY + 5 years from the date of image creation, apply the retention schedule and send event images, faculty and staff portraits, and stock/promo images to the Archives. Discard all other photographs housed in the Image Library or elsewhere.

The Archives reserves the right to weed the records if needed (e.g. volume too large, file sizes continue to increase, outpacing storage resources, etc.).


RRSDA is in force.

Approved by the University Archivist: 9 Nov 2016

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