Deed of gift

March 31, 2009

Our director is working a a deed of gift for the library as a whole.  The one line that relates to Archives directly is:

On a limited basis, the College Archives will accept select materials that pertain to the history of the Colleges, significant members of the Colleges’ community, or materials with particular relevance to the institution.”

It covers all the regular bases on our right to keep it, trade it, sell it or dump it, (in pretty language of course) and that we will not appraise it.

It also includes a form where the donor has to fill in the list of what is being donated, and of course sign.

The piece is still in draft form.  I’m curious if making the donor fill in the list will discourage some gifts, (though this is for 10 items or less) or if just having such a form will discourage gifts.

We are actually trying to cut down on the number of items we get that are of no use to us, and we end up having to dispose of.  Of course most of those come to Archives from within the Colleges. 🙂

Do you have any suggestions?


5 Responses to “Deed of gift”

  1. Having a donor fill it out will likely irritate them mightily, especially since lots of people have no clue what they are donating. You can try to get them to describe it in general terms, but 1)shouldn’t that be done before the stuff ever makes it across the proverbial threshold? Appraisal begins on the loading dock and in the collection development policy, so making it clear what you do and don’t want – in as many places as possible, ahead of time – will help minimize that trouble of the wrong things in the wrong place at the wrong time. 2) they are not likely to use terminology that will help you make those decisions, anyway.


  2. Thanks, Lori. I was thinking there might be a high irritation factor.

    This was for 10 items or less and will most likely apply to things that people carry in the front door and say “Do you want these for the library?” and having the staff fill it in would surely have an even higher irritation factor. 🙂

  3. Lynne Thomas Says:

    We use our collection development policy first, and the deed of gift document after we’ve decided to accept something. But I’m not the university archives, I’m “rare books and special collections”. They often have less control, and get the “come clean out this office” phonecalls.

  4. Don’t forget to get full ownership and to state that you may convert the documents to or holographic (3-D) formats.

  5. Kim Laird Says:

    Hi Linda,

    I think if people are clear on the fact that the gift letter/deed/whatever is so we can make sure we send them a thank you letter, etc. and that the gift is recorded appropriately, they aren’t irritated by it. Streamlining it as much as possible is a good idea too.

    We have one that I use regularly. People have the option of not filling it out & some don’t, but the fact that we always send it out and they know about it helps a lot in dealing with gifts. Sometimes people would rather fill out the gift form than fill out the forms that enable us to pay them for the items. Our gift form is here, in case it might be helpful.

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