The Training of a Secretary:
An Ancient Profession
Secretary In Literature
Universality Of The Vocation
Other Duties As May Be Assigned By The Board Of Directors
Taking The Minutes
Preservation Of The Minutes
Minutes, Meetings And Manners
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Preservation Of The Minutes
( Originally Published 1922 )
The minutes and all reports, financial statements, balance sheets, requests for appropriations, resolutions and whatever else is to come before the meeting are pre-pared on sheets of equal size, one copy of each being retained for the minute book, one copy for a purpose to be hereafter described and one copy mailed under sealed cover, to each director a few days before the date of the meeting, for his inspection and study. The sheets may be printed, mimeographed, multigraphed, reproduced by the gelatine process or by automatic typewriters of the Hooven type, or in any other legible manner.
Each director has in his office a cover or folder of proper size into which his sheets are bound temporarily. They are retained say for six months, when they are destroyed or returned to the office of the corporation to be destroyed there. It goes without saying that the folders are kept where they can-not be examined by inquisitive persons.
The first sheets which are retained by the secretary as indicated above, are bound in his office perhaps in more substantial covers, the last sheet on top and the subjects simply indexed by cards for easy reference. At the end of a year or other convenient period, the sheets are rearranged and numbered, page one being the earliest minutes in point of time in the binder, the sheets then following each other in order as they are referred to in the minutes of succeeding meetings. An accurate index is then made including every subject which has come within the business of the year, and this cross indexed; so that in a moment reference can be made to any matter which may be for the time under consideration. The minutes are, or should be an exact history of the business of the company or organization. They cannot be too carefully indexed.
The index and all the sheets are then bound into a substantial volume, each sheet being signed by the secretary before it leaves his office, if this be considered necessary or desirable. The bound book is lettered inside and out with the name of the corporation, the volume number and the year. It is convenient also to place the year on each cover, as well as on the back; or the minutes may be bound in one volume and the supporting documents in another, both being carefully indexed. This is preferable in my opinion.
In either case, the second copy of each sheet retained by the secretary is filed in a strong collapsible envelope with its fellows and perhaps a supporting letter or memorandum or a bulky report or other document which is not of sufficient importance to be duplicated but still of interest, meeting by meeting. These envelopes properly inscribed one to each meeting, are filed in a separate safe from the one which contains the minute books and of course would be of value in case of an accident to the books. If considered desirable, the envelopes may take the place of the book of supporting sheets mentioned in the paragraph above. This makes for simplicity, but reference is not quite so easy.