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Donating Your Personal Papers or Institutional Records

The Archives Division staff works closely with donors to identify those materials of research interest which should be preserved. Although not all papers and records fall within the collecting scope of the department, the types of materials listed below are often valuable. These lists are suggestive but not definitive.

Personal and Family Papers:

Letters, diaries, speech/lectures, albums/scrapbooks, memoirs /reminiscences, photographs, professional files, genealogical information, films, video tapes and audiotapes.

Organizational Records:

Articles of incorporation/bylaws, correspondence, planning documents, architectural records, legal documents, diaries, minutes of meetings, reports, memoranda, newsletters and other publications, directories, financial documents, press releases, membership records, and research and subject files.

Because the research value of papers and records may be diminished, if items are removed or rearranged, donors are encouraged to contact the staff of the Archives Division before discarding and rearranging materials.

The Transfer of Materials to Manuscripts and Archives:

After working with donors to identify materials appropriate for preservation, staff will make arrangements to have the paper or records transported to the Auburn Avenue Research Library (AARL). Legal transfer of materials from the donor to AARL occurs when the donor reviews and signs a gift agreement formally making a gift of the collection to the Research Library. Manuscripts and Archives can only invest materials in the care of the collections which it owns. The department generally does not accept materials on deposit or on a loan.

Donating to the Research Collections of the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History means that you will be preserving the heritage and contributions of people of African descent in the Southeast and throughout the United States. Your donation will help insure that resources documenting the legacy of Africana peoples will be made accessible for study and interpretation for future generations.

For more information or to donate materials, please contact:

Reference and Research Division


Archives Division


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