Record Series Search Help
First, we'd like to suggest that you take a look at our Retention Schedule Help page, if you're not yet familiar with Indiana retention schedules, what they contain, and how they work.
If you are familiar, then let's move on to how to use our online Record Series Search!
This search will allow you to search for Record Series (the items that make up a retention schedule) across ALL retention schedules for State and County/Local Government.
You can use it to look up the retention instructions for a specific Record Series Number, or find all Record Series that meet your search terms. Those could be specific words in the title of the Record Series or the name of the Agency, or a general search using the "Find" box to locate your chosen term anywhere within the Record Series, including its description and retention instructions.
What the search box looks like:
In this example, there's a sample search for "microfilm" in the Find field.
How to use the search box:
You can use any or all of the search fields, but your searches will be more productive if you know how those fields work:
- Find: searches for the words you entered there in every part of a Record Series. In the example above, if a Record Series has the word "microfilm" in its title, description, retention instructions, or agency name, it will appear in the search results.
That would pull up a lot of results, across many agencies, so you probably don't want to use "Find" by itself unless you have a very specific phrase to look for, which you know only appears in a few Record Series. Instead, you'll want to use one or more of the other fields below it, either in combination with the Find box, or on their own:
- Title: looks for Record Series that have your listed words in their title. If you enclose the words in quotation marks, the system will search for the exact phrase, in that order. If you don't, then your search words can appear in any order in the title, as long as they're all there.
- Agency Name Keywords: This box works the same way as the Title box (quotes will find the exact phrase, no quotes will find the words in any order), but it's searching for those words in the name of the government unit to which the Record Series belongs. This is a good search to use if you'd like to find all Record Series for an agency that has multiple divisional retention schedules, or find series from multiple agencies that all provide services related to a particular subject. (i.e. all agencies with the word Health in their name.)
- Local ID (Record Series Number): this will allow you to go straight to the information for a single Record Series if you know its Number, or you can use asterisks as wild cards to find a specific group of Record Series. For example, entering GRACC-* will return all series whose Record Series Number begins with GRACC.
- Include Discontinued Record Series: if you check this box, your search results may include Record Series marked that don't appear on any retention schedules and are no longer approved for use -- usually because the agency no longer creates/receives them, or because they've been superseded by a different Record Series. (The Details page will provide more information on why it was discontinued.) They're included in the search only for historical purposes, and may not be applied to an agency's current records.
After you've made all your search choices, click the Search button, and a list of Record Series will appear, with 25 series shown per page.
- You can use the Sort box on the right side of the screen to sort the results by Record Series Number, Title, or the name of the Retention Schedule to which they belong. (If you sort by Schedule, any Discontinued series will appear after the others, and be sorted by Record Series Number.)
- You can also narrow your list of results down by scrolling back up to the Search fields, filling in more criteria, and clicking Search again.
Finally, click the Title on any of the listed Record Series to see the Details page for that series, which will show the full information, including description, confidentiality, and retention instructions.
- If the Record Series is active, there'll also be links to see all Record Series on the same Retention Schedule, or view/print the whole schedule in traditional published print layout.
- If the Record Series is Discontinued, no Retention Schedule links will appear.
The Links Menu
Above the search box, and above any results that you might click through, you'll see a horizontal menu of links. Here's what they do:
Home: Takes you to the very top level of IARA's Retention Schedule Database, which offers two links:
- The Record Series Search discussed here.
- A Retention Schedule browsing feature that allows you to click through eleven pages of links to current Records Retention Schedules. There's a much easier way to browse those, so if you're looking for Retention Schedules, we'd suggest using these pages instead: State Retention Schedules | County/Local Retention Schedules.
Search for Record Series: Takes you straight back to the Record Series Search.
Search Help: Takes you to this page.
Retention Schedule Help: Takes you to our Retention Schedule Help page, which explains what Retention Schedules are and how they work.
Contact Us: Takes you to IARA's Contact page, where you can send an e-mail to any of our divisions if you need help with a specific records topic.
If you have further questions about how to use the Record Series search, or need to report a technical problem, please contact arobinson@iara.IN.gov.
For Judicial Records retention information, you'll need to visit the Indiana Judiciary's Judical Retention Schedule, part of the Indiana Rules of Court. The linked pdf also contains contact information for the Records Manager of the courts system, who can assist with any questions you might have..