Create a Records Center site in SharePoint 2013

Learn what a record is, how it relates to documents and records management, what a SharePoint 2013 Records Center site is, and how to create one in SharePoint 2013.


A Records Center site can be seen as a separate archive or storage location to which documents can be moved once they become records.

Documents generally refer to active documents, while records refer to inactive documents. The difference between documents and records is not hard to understand if you look at them in terms of legal matters.

For a piece of evidence to hold up in court, it must not have been tampered with. A record can be seen as a piece of evidence that can be used in the court of law.

And to make this possible, a record must not change. So when documents become records, they must not change anymore, because they are evidence of something that took place in the past.

Records management makes it possible for you to manage and maintain records until they can be discarded or thrown away. And the Records Center site in SharePoint 2013 makes records management that is concentrated on one specific location possible. This is called archiving.

Note that once documents become records, you can also keep them where they are located and not move them to a separate SharePoint Records Center. This is called in-place record management in SharePoint.

However, moving documents to a separate SharePoint Records Center provides the following benefits:

A Records Center is a site template in SharePoint Server 2013, so you can use it to create a site just like you would create any other type of site in SharePoint 2013. The Records Center site template is not available in SharePoint Foundation 2013.

When you create a SharePoint Records Center site, a Drop Off Library document library is created by default.

There is also a command named Submit a Record you can use to upload documents to the Records Center. Documents that are uploaded through this command are automatically moved to the correct SharePoint document library and folder after the document properties are collected.

Create a SharePoint Records Center

  1. In SharePoint 2013, navigate to the top-level site of a site collection or any other SharePoint site under which you want to create a Records Center site, and click Site Contents.
  2. On the Site Contents page, click new subsite.
  3. On the New SharePoint Site page, type a title for the Records Center site in the Title text box.
  4. Type a description for the Records Center site in the Description text box.
  5. Complete the URL for the Records Center site in the URL name text box.
  6. Under Select a template, select the Enterprise tab, and then select Records Center. The description of the template says:

    This template creates a site designed for records management. Records managers can configure the routing table to direct incoming files to specific locations. The site also lets you manage whether records can be deleted or modified after they are added to the repository.
  7. Configure the rest of options or leave them as is.
  8. Click Create.

Once you have gone through the steps above, SharePoint should redirect you to the newly created Records Center site.

You can immediately start using the SharePoint Records Center site to upload documents to it. Any document you upload will then automatically be stored in the default Drop Off Library document library.

But for the SharePoint Records Center site to be more functional and useful to your organization, you must configure it to match your organization's file plan.

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