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Donating Materials

The Archives welcomes offers of privately owned materials that document the history of the College. Manuscript collections such as the personal papers of Springfield College faculty, alumni, staff, and trustees and the records of outside organizations with ties or a complementary mission to Springfield College supplement and fortify the official College record.

Gifts to the College Archives are considered outright donations to be used in the best interest of the Springfield College Archives. Donations become the sole and irrevocable property of the College Archives.

Donations of historical material may be tax-deductible, but the Springfield College Archives can not appraise donations for tax purposes. It is recommended that such appraisals be done by a disinterested third party and before title to the material is conveyed to the Springfield College Archives.

What to Donate

As not all material falls within the scope of the Archives collecting areas, the Archivist will work with donors to identify specifically what should be preserved. Some types of materials that are often important include:

Records of Organizations

Administrative Records. Constitution/bylaws, reports (annual and planning), correspondence, memoranda, meeting minutes, agendas, and attachments (for annual and committee meetings), publications (newsletters, brochures, etc.), annual budgets, financial statements and audit reports, job descriptions, newspaper clippings about the organization, organizational charts and historical summaries, policy and procedure manuals, press releases and public relations material, fund-raising materials.

Program Records

Audiovisual materials (photographs, video and audio tapes), planning documents, program evaluations, project reports, training manuals.

Records of Individuals

Letters, diaries, speeches, scrapbooks, autobiographical sketches, photographs, films, audio and videotapes, and professional files.

The Donation Process

Because the research value of historical materials may be diminished if items are removed or rearranged, donors are encouraged to contact the Archives before discarding or rearranging materials. Archives staff members work with the donor to identify historically significant materials and prepare them for transfer to the Archives. Before the physical transfer of materials can occur, legal title to the materials needs to be transferred from the donor to Springfield College. This is done via a gift agreement, which also details any restrictions on access. For further information on gift agreements, please see the Society of American Archivists' A Guide to Deeds of Gift.

Collection Care

Collections are housed in an area with strict environmental controls to enhance the preservation of historical materials. Strict security measures are also in place to safeguard the collections. Collections donated to the Archives are organized and described by professional archivists to provide researchers with easy access to the materials. The effort needed to physically preserve collections and provide intellectual control of them is time-consuming and expensive. Donors are, therefore, encouraged to provide financial support for the preservation of their historical records.