The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Permanent Records

Reference Number: MTAS-475
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: January 31, 2009
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Permanent records are records of such value that they must always be retained in some kind of permanent format. Examples of permanent records are the original process in a civil or criminal proceeding and the minutes of the city’s governing body. Some records, such as deeds, are kept permanently because the record continues to have legal significance in perpetuity. Other records are permanent because they preserve certain information about the way we live and conduct government and are, therefore, historically valuable. Still others are useful for statistical or planning purposes. Then there are those that are permanent simply because there are laws that have declared them to be so. All of these need to be kept in such a manner as to preserve them indefinitely.

Photographic or Electronic Preservation of Permanent Records
The state legislature has given county public records commissions authority to permit the destruction of original records required to be kept in a “well bound book” once they have been reproduced through microphotography or stored on computer or removable computer storage media including CD-ROM. [1] Similar authority has been granted to cities in T.C.A. § 10-7-702. The Tennessee State Library and Archives does not accept records in electronic format.

[1] T.C.A. § 10-7-404(d)(1)

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