Donate Materials to Archives & Special Collections

Page Banner
Donated items including yearbooks, portrait, diary, and essay
Donations are a cornerstone of our collections.
Archives & Special Collections relies on the generosity of donors to build its collections. We are deeply grateful to generations of donors who have come forward to share their archival and published treasures with the wider community. Read on to learn what we collect.

Collection Priorities

If you have items you believe may be of interest to us, please get in touch! If we are unable to accept your offer for any reason, we will do our best to suggest a suitable alternative home.
Archival Materials We Collect

Written records, images, and audiovisual materials of all kinds (either physical or digital) may be accepted for our Archives when they meet one or more of the following criteria: 

We are MOST interested in materials that relate to...
-   The operation, impact, and/or evolution of the University of Windsor or Assumption College
-   Institutions, groups, and individuals closely affiliated with either the University of Windsor or Assumption College
-   The historical experiences (social, cultural, political, economic, environmental, military, etc.) of people or organizations in Windsor/Essex County, Chatham-Kent, or Sarnia/Lambton County
-   The history of the Lake St. Clair/Detroit River/Lake Erie watershed as a region with shared characteristics and fluid borders over time

We may also consider materials that relate to...
-   Events, individuals, or organizations of significance to Ontario, Canada, or the world
Practical considerations include...
-   Are physical materials in sufficiently good condition that we are able to preserve them?
-   Do the contents of audiovisual materials have sufficient archival value to justify the effort and expense to digitize and preserve them in perpetuity?
-   Are digital materials in formats that are accessible and preservable using the software and hardware available in Leddy Library at the time of donation?
Books and Pamphlets We Collect

Published works may be accepted for our Special Collections if they meet one or more of the following criteria:

-   Works published by local authors, by local publishers, and about the local area
-   Canadian works published before 1900
-   American works published before 1850
-   European works published before 1800
-   First editions of significant publications
-   Publications of aesthetic importance, including fine-printing, unique illustrations, or fine bindings
-   Limited editions of value
-   Fine facsimiles of important publications
-   Special Press publications
-   Hard-to-find works that support specific archival holdings, not falling into one of the above categories

The regular circulating collections of Leddy Library have their own collection priorities and policies. See “What the Rest of Leddy Library Collects," below.

Artifacts We (Don't Really) Collect

We do not have the facilities to properly house, preserve, or display physical artifacts (furniture, framed paintings, clothing, medals, weapons, tools, collectibles, etc.), and therefore are generally unable to accept donations of this kind unless they are an integral part of larger collections of manuscripts, images, or published materials.

All offers will be gratefully considered, but we will probably recommend you instead contact one of our region’s excellent museums.

What the Rest of Leddy Library Collects

We only administer and receive donations of rare and unique materials intended for Archives and Special Collections. A separate Leddy Library donation policy applies to ordinary published materials intended for the library’s regular circulating collections.

Donation Process

A successful donation to Archives & Special Collections involves a bit more than dropping a package on the library's doorstep in the dead of night and hoping for the best. Read on to learn how the donation process unfolds in order to ensure that these special items are preserved and made accessible to the best of our ability, while we strive toward a positive experience for everyone involved.

First Steps: Appraisal and Acquisition
Step 1: Appraisal 

When you're ready to part with your item(s), contact us and let us know what you are offering and why you think it is worth preserving. We will ask follow-up questions about how much material you have, what condition it is in, the history of the item(s), where you got them, and who created or collected them. The answers help us determine (a) whether the material you're offering fits our collection mandates, and (b) whether we have enough space and sufficient resources to preserve the item(s). A site visit by the archivist (to examine the material in person) may be necessary.

Step 2: Acquisition

If we accept your offer of donation, we will make arrangements with you to acquire the materials. This will include the following steps, depending on the type of material(s) involved:

Published Works for Special Collections:
-  Pick-up, drop-off, or digital file transfer logistics
-  Completion of a Deed of Gift form that legally transfers the items from you to Leddy Library

Non-University Manuscript or Audiovisual Materials for Archives:
-  Pick-up, drop-off, or digital file transfer logistics
-  Completion of a Deed of Gift form that legally transfers the items from you to Leddy Library
-  Any special instructions relating to copyright, access, use, or retention
-  Further questions about the history of the material or its creator/collector, for use in the archival description and arrangement

University Records of Any Kind for Archives:
-  Pick-up, drop-off, or digital file transfer logistics
-  Completion of a Transfer Form that documents the items' transfer to Leddy Library
-  Any special instructions relating to access, use, or retention
-  Further questions about the history of the material or its creator/collector, for use in the archival description and arrangement
Protection of Privacy within Donated Archival Materials 

Many archival materials contain personal information about the donor, creator, or other individuals. Archives & Special Collections staff do their best to adhere to all applicable government legislation and university guidelines relating to the protection of privacy, and uphold any special restrictions requested by the donor within the Deed of Gift agreement. This may include restricting access to certain documents of a sensitive nature for a set period of years or to certain people, or copying documents and redacting personal identifying information or personal health information in documents prior to releasing them to researchers.

However, within the framework of these legislative requirements and any donor-imposed restrictions, it is the policy of Archives and Special Collections to allow all interested users to access all information within its holdings. Archival donors in particular should be aware that any materials they donate will be accessible to the public (for any use whatsoever), unless they specify otherwise at the time of donation.

The archivist will discuss potential privacy concerns and possible restrictions with donors as part of the appraisal and acquisition process.

Copyright of Donated Materials

There are set policies for copyright within published works and university records, but some flexibility within non-university archival donations. The archivist will discuss copyright options with non-university archival donors during the appraisal and acquisition process.

Published Works for Special Collections:
-  Copyright remains with the creator until the expiry date mandated by Canadian or international law.

Non-University Manuscript or Audiovisual Materials for Archives:
-  Ordinarily, copyright is transferred from the donor to the University of Windsor under the terms of the Deed of Gift. This can be altered if the donor/creator prefers to retain copyright.

-  Copyright on any items in the donation not created by the donor remains with their creator(s), because the donor does not have the right to transfer  this copyright.

Note: Archives and Special Collections prefers to acquire copyright on donated archival materials in order to avoid the complications of so-called "orphan works" -- materials whose creator's whereabouts/contact information is unknown, leaving users unable to contact them to seek permission to legally reproduce their material (eg. images for use in books, documentaries, or websites) for decades, until the term of copyright expires.

University Records of Any Kind for Archives:
-  Copyright remains with the University of Windsor.

Monetary Appraisal and Tax Receipts

Upon request, donors to Archives and Special Collections can receive a tax receipt from the University of Windsor, based on the Fair Market Value of their items, as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency.

Fair market value will be assessed through a process of monetary appraisal. Donations valued at $1000 or less will be monetarily appraised in-house, at no cost to the donor. Donations valued at more than $1000 must be monetarily appraised by a professional appraiser from outside the university. Should the cost of this outside appraisal be excessive, the donor may be required to contribute to its payment.

The archivist will discuss tax receipts and monetary appraisal options with the donor during the appraisal and acquisition process.

Contact Us

If you have questions about our collection priorities and the donation process, or wish to offer a donation, please get in touch! We look forward to speaking with you.

By phone:  519-253-3000 ext. 3851
In-person:  Leddy Library (Main Building) basement, suite G-100
Send us a message