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Jessie Ball duPont Library

William R. Laurie University Archives and Special Collections

Collection Development

In order to maintain a vibrant and relevant collection, University Archives and Special Collections has a Collection Development Policy that is reviewed regularly. The policy incorporates the following practices:

  • To translate the university’s research, instructional, and programmatic needs into collecting practices for University Archives and Special Collections
  • To describe the scope and nature of the collections
  • To delineate collection priorities
  • To provide guidelines and encourage consistency in the acquisition of new resources
  • To communicate University Archives and Special Collections' policies to the public

The current policy can be viewed by following the link below.

Donor Information

University Archives and Special Collections holdings continue to grow through donations, records transfers, and purchases made possible by gift funds. We welcome inquiries regarding potential book or archival donations, and will review all prospective donations for inclusion based on:

  • scholarly or historical value
  • relation to existing or emerging collection strengths
  • potential for student learning and engagement
  • faculty interest
  • condition
  • the nature of the individual's or organization's relationship to the University of the South and the surrounding community.

Materials donated to University Archives and Special Collections become the property of the University of the South, with the ongoing commitment of staff to process, house, and provide access to these resources. We welcome direct donations of money to support specific subject strengths or target initiatives in teh Archives.

Please be aware that University Archives and Special Collections staff are not authorized or qualified to provide appraisals for books, archival materials, or art objects.

Please see our Deed of Gift and Records Transfer forms below for for more information, or contact us at

Copyright protects published and unpublished literary, scientific, and artistic works fixed in a tangible or material form. Copyright laws grant to the creator the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, perform, and display the work publicly and to create derivative works. Copyright belongs to the creator, or his or her heirs; however, it may be legally transferred. Although retaining copyright permits individuals to maintain control or receive benefits from a work, We request that donors consider transferring copyright to the University of the South. If copyright is transferred, students and researchers can more easily obtain permission to use quotations from these donations. The transfer of copyright applies only to those materials created by the donor, not materials created by another party.

Donation Information
The Society of American Archivists provides the following guides:

Deeds of Gift: What Donors Should Know

Guide to Donating Your Personal or Family Papers to a Repository

Appraisals for Tax Purposes
Donors may be entitled to take an income tax deduction by claiming their gift as a charitable donation. The following page from the IRS entitled "Eight Tips for Deducting Charitable Contributions" may be helpful.

IRS Publication 561, "Determining the Value of Donated Property", defines fair market value and provides guidance regarding valuation and appraisals.
It is our understanding that to claim a deduction for a gift valued in excess of $500, a donor must file an IRS Form 8283. In addition, the Form 8283 dictates the time frame within which a formal appraisal must be performed, among other requirements (see instructions to Form 8283).
Any gift valued over $5,000 requires a formal appraisal, performed no more than sixty days before the date of the gift.

Donor and Transfer Forms