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Approved: 1/27/14

Responsible Administator: Dean Library Services

Responsible Office: Archives & Special Collections

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Special Collections staff work closely with donors to identify materials appropriate for adding to 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 preserving in Special Collections, they will make arrangements to have the materials transported to Special Collections, 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 Archives, Special Collections, and Digital Initiatives Librarian, Melissa Minds VandeBurgt, by e-mail or by phone at 239-590-7658.


Copyright generally belongs to the creator of writings and other original material (such as photographs and music), and can be legally transferred. To enable scholars to quote readily from collections, Special Collections encourages donors to transfer any copyright which they possess in the donated papers to the University. Transfer of copyright also makes it possible for the Libraries to make digital access copies of the materials available online where they can be used by researchers worldwide.


Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation, Inc. do not assign valuations or make appraisals for objects. A valuation is requested by the Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation for insurance and donor recognition purposes.  The donor’s appraisal also will support the charitable contribution deduction claim on the donor’s IRS return.


To ensure their protection and preservation, collections are stored in environmentally-controlled and secure areas, and do not circulate outside of  Archives and Special Collections. Staff members retrieve collections for research use in a supervised reading room. 
Staff arrange and describe collections according to archival best practices. Descriptive guides/finding aids are created for each collection, facilitating research use. Records for each collection are placed on the Archives and Special Collections website, and in the Library online catalog.


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, digitization, exhibition, and promotion of collections.
If you are interested in making a monetary donation to support Special Collections, please contact Donna Vazquez, Assistant Director, Library Business Services, (239)-590-7603 or Kathleen Miller, Dean of Library Services, (239) 590-7605.


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