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Special Collections Donation Guidelines




Special Collections staff work closely with donors to identify materials appropriate for our collection. When possible, donors are encouraged to provide an inventory or overall summary of the collection for staff review.

After the staff and the donor have agreed in principle that the materials are appropriate for Special Collections, they will arrange to have the materials transported to Buley Library where they will be accessioned and stored for processing, arrangement, and description by the staff.

Legal transfer of the materials from the donor to the University occurs when the donor reviews and signs an Acknowledgement of Objects Received (or Deed of Gift) agreement. The agreement formally transfers ownership of the materials to the University.

The University cannot invest materials and labor in the care of collections which it does not own. Therefore, we cannot accept materials on deposit or loan.

If you have materials that you are interested in donating to Special Collections, please contact the Special Collections Librarian Paul Holmer at (203) 392-5746:



Copyright generally belongs to the creator of written and other original material (such as photographs and music), and can be legally transferred. To enable scholars to quote readily from collections, donors are encouraged to transfer any copyright which they possess in to the University. Transfer of also makes it possible for the Buley Library to create digital access so they can be used worldwide.



Southern Connecticut State University cannot make valuations or appraisals for donations. Internal valuations are made to Southern Connecticut State University for insurance and donor recognition purposes. A donor’s appraisal will support the charitable contribution deduction claim on IRS returns.



To ensure their protection and preservation, collections are stored in secure areas, and rarely leave Special Collections. Staff members retrieve collections for use in a supervised reading room.

Staff will arrange and describe collections according best practices. Descriptive guides/finding aids are created for archival, manuscript and realia collections to facilitate use.  Records for each collection will be placed on the Special Collections website. All books will be catalogued on the Library online catalog; when appropriate others may be described on the website as well.



Preserving valuable collections and creating online guides for their research use is expensive. Donors who are able to do so are encouraged to provide financial support for the arrangement, description, and preservation of their papers or collections. Monetary contributions are also sought to support the acquisition, preservation, digitization, exhibition, and promotion of materials.

If you are interested in making a monetary donation to support Special Collections, please contact Clara Ogbaa, Director, of Buley Library (203) 392-5760.

The information in this page is based, in part, on resources developed by Florida State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Procedures for Transfering Municipal Government Records to Buley Library

Background: In 2013 SCSU received the papers of New Haven Mayor, John DeStefano, Jr. Which comprised of 90 banker’s boxes of materials from Mayor DeStefano’s 20-year administration.  The library obtained the papers via a transfer of public records that the university administrators, City lawyer, and the State Librarian signed off on.

Recently there has been interest in expanding the collection to include other mayors’ papers.  This is the proposed procedure for obtaining papers.

  1. The donor approaches the library via the library director or the library faculty. 
  2. The library determines if the material will fit with the municipal government documents collections.
  3. The library determines if the material is a gift or a transfer from a government agency.
  4. If the materials are a gift, the standard Special Collections donation policy is followed.
  5. If the material is a government transfer, the city agency will transmit an inventory of the papers being transferred to the library director.
  6. The library director will initiate the process of having the state librarian, the city lawyer, and the SCSU administration sign off on the transfer of materials.  These documents may include:  “Statement of agent or officer of transferring agency”, “Memorandum of State Transfer” from the State Librarian, and a “Records Disposition Authorization (CT Form RC-075).
  7. The municipal agency will deliver the materials unless the library director asks the university administration to arrange for pickup.
  8. The university will not dispose of the material transferred without consulting the state records retention policy and the state librarian.