Gifts and Donations Policies for Special Collections
Donations are important to the vitality of Special Collections and its mission to support the research, teaching, and service aspects of this land grant university. The department accepts gifts that will enhance existing collections, contribute to original scholarship conducted by the university community, and that further develop the richness of resources used by the Libraries' patrons. The department reserves the right to accept donations without restrictions, to turn away gifts prior to donation, and to dispose appropriately of materials that, after receipt, are deemed unsuitable to the collection.
Types of Donations Desired
Correspondence, diaries, and manuscripts (preferably original documents), logbooks, ledgers, memorabilia, photographs, drawings, architectural collections, and other records of historical importance to the mission of the university and that support existing collections.
Published works that support the manuscript and archival collections are of particular interest. Current active areas of interest include the Amercan Civil War, local and regional history, children's nutrition literature, and culinary history. Works autographed by the author, illustrator, or notable person are also of interest, as are books by Virginia Tech's faculty.
Because of the unique nature of materials housed in Special Collections, financial support is important to sustain their viability. Financial contributions would be used, for example, to purchase preservation containers such as acid-free sleeves for photographs, folders, and boxes; to hire student assistants to help with processing collections; to ship manuscript and archival collections to the library; and the like. Please make your donation to the "Virginia Tech Foundation" and designate it specifically for SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES. Send to University Development, 201 Pack Building, Blacksburg, VA, 24061.
The premiere collections that would appropriately be supported by donations to the Special Collections Department include:
- American Civil War
- Archives of American Aerospace Exploration
- Local and regional history: including Blacksburg, Mongtomery County,and southwest Virginia, including its architectural history and Appalachian History
- International Archive of Women in Architecture
- Railroad History, particularly regional railroads
- Culinary History Collection
- Speculative Fiction
- University Archive including the historical record of the university, particularly its presidents, women, minorities, notable faculty, student life, and structures
CopyrightSince the goals of Special Collections include preserving and providing access to the collections, department staff are creating Internet access to finding aids and digitizing some original source materials. Therefore, whenever possible a donor who holds the copyright to original materials should assign nonexclusive rights to the University Libraries. Donors who are copyright holders include authors of letters, diaries, and manuscripts; photographers; artists; performers; composers; and the like.
Acknowledging DonationsUpon request or as deemed appropriate, donations to the department will be formally acknowledged in writing. A preliminary receipt for a gift may be written by the Special Collections staff at the time a donation is made.
Tax Deductions AvailableGifts to Special Collections are considered charitable donations and under current tax laws deductions for charitable donations exceeding $5000 require a formal appraisal which must be secured by the donor. The value of a gift should be determined prior to its donation and is the responsibility of the donor. According to IRS guidelines, library employees may not appraise gifts to be donated to University Libraries. Pertinent information is available in IRS publications:
561, "Determining the Value of Donated Property" (pdf 101 kb)
526, "Charitable Contributions" (pdf 178 kb)
Types of Donations that Are InappropriateAnything containing mold or mildew is potentially dangerous to the existing collections. Large museum-type pieces cannot generally be accommodated by the department nor the library and cannot be accepted. Materials that require considerable restoration or conservation or unique storage will be accepted by the library only if appropriate funds accompany the gift.
How to DonateAll donations should be accompanied by a Deed of Gift.
Please discuss potential gifts to the department with staff in Special Collections so that you can be sure it is the appropriate repository.
To Contact Special Collections
- (540) 231-6308
- (540) 231-3694
- Stop by:
- 1st floor Newman Library
- Write to:
- Special Collections Department
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
P. O. Box 90001
Blacksburg, VA 24062-9001