Appendix A: General Records Schedule 21


Audiovisual Records


This schedule covers audiovisual and related records created by or for agencies of the federal government as well as those acquired in the course of business. Audiovisual records more than 30 years old must be offered to the National Archives and Records Service (NARS) before applying disposition instructions set forth in this schedule.

Audiovisual records include still and motion picture photography, graphic materials, and sound and video recordings. Related documentation includes:

(1) Production files or other files documenting the creation, justification, ownership, and rights to the records and (2) finding aids used to identify or access the records.

This schedule does not cover: (1) cartographic records; (2) remote sensing imagery recorded on film or magnetic tape; (3) microform copies of textual records; or (4) research and development data. Cartographic records and remote sensing imagery recorded on film are covered by GRS 17; digitised or computerized data are covered by GRS 20; microform copies of textual records may be covered by other general records schedules, depending on the informational content of the textual records; and research and development source data are covered by GRS 19.



For each type of audiovisual record, the specific record elements (originals, negatives, prints, dubbings, etc.) required by 41 CFR 101-11.411-4 for preservation, reproduction, and reference are listed. Since audiovisual records covered by this schedule include those produced under contract, by grant, and acquired from outside sources as well as those produced internally, maintenance and control of these record elements for records subject to the disposition “Submit SF 115” are essential, whether the record elements are stored in agency or contractor facilities.



The word “destroy” is used to authorize destruction of data or information. Erasable media such as magnetic tape should be reused whenever practical. Silver-bearing photographic film must be destroyed in accordance with 41 CFR 101-42.3, “Recovery of Precious Metals and Strategic and Critical Materials”.

The instruction “Submit SF 115” requires that the records be included in either an agency’s comprehensive records schedule or a specific request for disposition authority, unless they have been described on an agency records schedule approved by NARS after May 14, 1973. The introduction to the General Records Schedules provides additional information on scheduling records, which have no authorized disposition in this general records schedule. When describing these records in a comprehensive records schedule or a specific request for disposition authority, agencies may be guided by the categorical descriptions in this general records schedule, but these descriptions are not a substitute for specific agency prepared descriptions that are required to schedule the records.

This general records schedule authorizes the disposal of certain records without further concurrence from NARS. Agencies are encouraged to include specific series descriptions for such records in their comprehensive schedules while citing the governing disposition instruction from this general records schedule as the authority for destroying the records.




(a) Conventional mass-produced, multiple copy disc recordings: the master tape, matrix or stamper, and one disc pressing.

(b) Magnetic audio tape recordings (reel-to-reel, cassette or cartridge): the original or earliest generation of each recording, and a dubbing, if one exists.

1 Recordings of meetings made exclusively for note taking or transcription. Destroy immediately after use.
2 Dictation belts or tapes Destroy immediately after use.
3 Pre-mix sound elements created during the course of a motion picture, television or radio production Destroy immediately after use
4 Library sound recordings(e.g. effects, music). Destroy when no longer needed
5 Daily or spot news recordings available to local radio stations on a call-in basis Destroy when six months old or when no longer needed
6 Duplicate dubbings in excess of those elements required for preservation, duplication and reference by 41 CFR 101-11.411-4 Destroy when no longer needed
7 Agency-sponsored radio programs intended for public broadcast Submit SF115
8 Agency-sponsored radio news releases and information programs. Submit SF115
9 Agency-sponsored radio public service (or “spot”) announcements. Submit SF115
10 Internal management news or information programs. Submit SF115
11 Recordings of public meetings or speeches, agency-sponsored conferences, guest speakers, testimony of agency officials before congress and other hearings. Submit SF115.
12 Oral history collections Submit SF115.
13 Recordings or programs produced under grant that are submitted to the agency. Submit SF115. (see also GRS 3, item 18)
14 Recordings or programs acquired from outside sources that document or are used to carry out agency programs Submit SF115
15 Media appearances by top agency officials Submit SF115
16 Documentary recordings made for fact-finding or other studies Submit SF115



1 Production files or similar files that document origin, development, acquisition, use and ownership.(May include scripts, contracts, transcripts, releases, etc.) Dispose of according to instructions covering the related audiovisual records
2 Finding aids for identification, retrieval or use. (May include indexes, catalogues, shelf lists, log books, caption sheets, shot lists, continuities, etc. and may be in text, card, microform or machine readable format.) Dispose of according to instructions covering the related audiovisual records