Donating Materials

The Springfield College Archives collects, describes, displays, and preserves the organized body of permanent records created or received in connection with the transaction of College affairs. In addition the Archives collects primary source material that supports the research interests and Humanics philosophy of the College. Subject areas of long-term interest to the College include the YMCA, physical education, sport, camping and recreation, and youth/community work.

Collections and manuscripts are selected for preservation in the Springfield College Archives primarily because of their historical research value. Materials accessioned will generally document the history of Springfield College, its community, and activities. Historical collections and manuscripts accessioned by the Springfield College Archives may include memorabilia, records, printed documents, photographic images, maps, graphic materials, and other historically significant materials in other physical forms. The historical resources of the College Archives are available for public use on the premises during regular business hours, unless otherwise specified in the donor agreement.

The Archives welcomes offers of privately owned materials that document the history of the College. Manuscript collections such as the personal papers of Springfield College faculty, alumni, staff, and trustees and the records of outside organizations with ties or a complementary mission to Springfield College supplement and fortify the official College record.

Gifts to the College Archives are considered outright donations to be used in the best interest of the Springfield College Archives. Donations become the sole and irrevocable property of the College Archives.

Unless otherwise restricted by copyright or by the donor and agreed to by the Springfield College Archives at the time of acquisition, all literary rights are conveyed to the Springfield College Archives. All donor access and use restrictions and conditions will be specified in the donation agreement. The Archives can assume no responsibility for abuse of literary or copyright restrictions by users of research materials.

Because no individual or institution can predict or govern the changing attitudes of future generations, the Archives reserves the right to reevaluate and reappraise historical material in its holdings and to deaccession them when appropriate. Deaccessioned collections and items weeded from collections during processing, due to duplication, irrelevance, limited use, or deterioration, will be offered to the original donor or his/her agent if so requested at the time of donation. If the donor wishes not to reclaim the material or can not be located, the College Archives reserves the right to offer the material to other depositories or discard the items. Any material declared expendable must be approved by the College Archivist.

Donations of historical material may be tax deductible. However, the Springfield College Archives can not appraise donations for tax purposes. For the protection of the donor, it is recommended that such appraisals be done by a disinterested third party and before title to the material is conveyed to the Springfield College Archives.

What to Donate

If you are interested in donating organizational records or personal papers to the Springfield College Archives, please contact the College Archivist (413-748-3309) or email as not all material falls within the scope of Archives collecting areas. Staff will work with donors of appropriate material to identify specifically what should be preserved. Lists of types of material that are often important follow. Please note that these lists are suggestive rather than prescriptive.


Records of Organizations

Administrative Records
Constitution/bylaws, reports (annual and planning), correspondence, memoranda, meeting minutes, agendas, and attachments (for annual and committee meetings), publications (newsletters, brochures, etc.), annual budgets, financial statements and audit reports, job descriptions, newspaper clippings about the organization, organizational charts and historical summaries, policy and procedure manuals, press releases and public relations material, fund-raising materials

Program Records
Audio visual materials (photographs, video and audio tapes), planning documents, program evaluations, project reports, training manuals

Records of Individuals

Letters, diaries, speeches, scrapbooks, autobiographical sketches, photographs, films, audio and video tapes, and professional files

The Donation Process

Because the research value of historical materials may be diminished if items are removed or rearranged, donors are encouraged to contact the Archives before discarding or rearranging materials. Archives staff members work with the donor to identify historically significant materials and prepare them for transfer to the Archives. Before the physical transfer of materials can occur, legal title to the materials needs to be transferred from the donor to Springfield College. This is done via a gift agreement, which also details any restrictions on access. For further information on gift agreements, please see the Society of American Archivists' A Guide to Deeds of Gift.

Collection Care

Collections are housed in an area with strict environmental controls to enhance preservation of historical materials. Strict security measures are also in place to safeguard the collections. Collections donated to the Archives are organized and described by professional archivists to provide researchers with easy access to the materials. The effort needed to physically preserve collections and provide intellectual control of them is time-consuming and expensive. Donors are, therefore, encouraged to provide financial support for the preservation of their historical records.

Further Information

If you have questions or would like to discuss donating materials to Springfield College’s Archives and Special Collections Department, please contact the College Archivist, tel. 413-748-3309 or email

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