The Local Records Act (50 ILCS 205) regulates the preservation or disposal of the public records of all units of local government in Illinois.

Public records include:

  • books
  • paper
  • maps
  • photographs
  • digitized electronic material

It is essential that departments record an inventory of these types of public records.

Before disposing or destroying Cook County records, each Cook County department must follow the following process:

  • Departments must complete an inventory worksheet and submit the worksheet to the Cook County Records Manager and the Illinois Secretary of State's Office.
  • The Secretary of State reviews the inventory and creates an Application for Authority to Dispose of Local Records.
  • After the application has been reviewed and approved it will provide the department’s records retention schedule.
  • Each year, departments must follow that schedule and submit Records Disposal Certificates to the Secretary of State.
  • The state must approve the disposal certificate prior to the destruction or disposal of the records.