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Donating Papers

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on August 13, 2008 at 8:24:17 pm


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The donation of a collection of personal or professional papers to a repository means that your papers will be preserved for use as a historical source—a time capsule, if you will—by future scholars, students, and others seeking knowledge about you and your contributions to public relations and/or to the community. The resources on this page will help you make decisions about how to conserve your papers. Be sure to check with your libraries, universities, and local and state historical societies to see if they have repository guidelines. Remember that you must understand and abide by any legal constraints concerning the ownership of any papers relating to work you conducted in an organization’s name.



There are other points to consider, as well, such as what constitutes a donation, a repository’s criteria for accepting a donation, and your responsibilities and those of the repository in regard to your donation. For this information and more, be sure to visit The Society of American Archivists: A guide to donating your personal or family papers to a repository. To establish a collection of your organization’s papers, you could start with The Society of American Archivists’ catalog, where brochures can be ordered for a fee. It is also possible to retain a professional archivist to assist with on-site cataloging. You could start your search through the Academy of Certified Archivists.


Other sources for learning more about collections and repository guidelines:


Archives of Australia


Australian Society of Archivists, Inc.


International Council on Archives (ICA)


International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)


Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)


LBGT Religious Archives Network: Repository Roster


National Archives, United States


National Library of Scotland


National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections, Library of Congress


The University of Auckland: Collection Development Policy


The University of Queensland: Collection Development Policy



Other sources:


Veterans History Project, Library of Congress/American Folklife Center, 101 Independence Ave. SE, Washington DC 20540-4615


Library of Congress: Story Corps


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