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Donating Materials (Acquisition Policy)

Acquisition Policy

Mission Statement

The work of Archives & Special Collections is guided by the ideas that archives reveal by enabling people to examine and better understand the past, that archives inspire by being useful for many purposes, and that archives should be open to provide the widest possible access to information. 

In accordance with the Mission Statement of the University of Connecticut, Archives & Special Collections supports and advances the research, teaching, service and outreach missions of the University by collecting and preserving original source materials in the social sciences and humanities; by maintaining the historical records of the University; by fostering public awareness of archival issues; and by engaging students and faculty in scholarly and creative achievement.


The Special Collections Department was formally established at the University of Connecticut in 1965 to house, organize, protect and service the rare, valuable and fragile items owned by the University Library.  Materials were collected to enlarge and to enrich existing collections in support of teaching interests, curriculums, and research requirements of the faculty.

The University Library began to expand its archival program in the 1970s to support more effectively the teaching and research programs of the University.  The Historical Manuscripts and Archives Department was formally established in 1979 in order to collect, preserve, organize, and service primary source materials documenting the history of Connecticut and the University.  In addition to the University of Connecticut Archives, the department collected personal papers and organizational records relating to the economic, social and political history of Connecticut, and to a lesser extent the remainder of New England, primarily for the period since the Civil War.

In 1988, the holdings of the Historical Manuscripts and Archives Department and the Special Collections Department of the University Libraries were combined and established as a single department of the University Library.  Planning was underway for the construction of a new preservation facility to house the University of Connecticut’s most significant primary research resources, demonstrating their centrality and importance to the university’s teaching, research and public service missions.  The Archives Research Center enabled the university to expand its collecting to obtain far broader and more significant primary source collections relating both to Connecticut history and to national and international topics.

The construction of the new facility began in 1993.  The newly-named Thomas J. Dodd Research Center honored Thomas Dodd’s service as Executive Trial Counsel in the International Military Tribunal, the first of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. The Thomas J. Dodd Research Center was dedicated in October 1995 by then President Bill Clinton.  Opening to the public in January 1996, the 55,000 square-foot building has since housed departments and programs with a common interest in history and human rights including Archives & Special Collections, the Human Rights Institute, Center for Oral History, and the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life. 

Acquisition Guidelines

Conditions of acceptance:

Potential acquisitions, transfers, and gifts of collection materials are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by professional staff of Archives & Special Collections.

The terms of acceptance are outlined in the Archives and Special Collections Deed of Gift document and are summarized as follows:

  • Donor represents and warrants that they have the full right, power and authority to give the Property to the University, and that the Property is free and clear of any and all claims, judgments, interests, restrictions, liens, infringements, or encumbrances, and that to the best of their knowledge the Donor has the right to transfer clear title of the Property to the University by this Deed of Gift.
  • Donor represents and warrants that it is the only lawful owner(s) of the Property, or that Donor is fully and legally authorized by the lawful owner(s) of the Property to enter into this Deed of Gift.
  • Donor acknowledges that upon execution of the Deed of Gift, the Property irrevocably becomes the property of the University and that the disposition of the Property is at the University’s sole discretion.
  • Donor acknowledges that researchers who follow rules established by Archives and Special Collections for handling collection materials may have full access to these materials, including the right to make single copies in lieu of note taking, unless limiting conditions are specifically stated by the donor. Unreasonable restrictions on access to donated materials are prohibited, however limited restrictions may be imposed by the donor or repository to protect individual privacy.   
  • If Donor does not transfer to the University of Connecticut Library the copyright and literary property rights in so far as such rights are held by the donor, the University shall have the right to copy, reformat, migrate or otherwise transform the Property in physical and digital form for the purposes of 1) long-term preservation and 2) to support its mission, research and discovery in an educational setting.

Conditions governing retention:

The repository and the donor will agree on the manner in which items that are unsuitable for retention will be treated.  Acceptance of accession is not a commitment to retain the accession in perpetuity.


Donations will not be accepted on deposit.