Giving to Special Collections
All of Special Collections' researchers and supporters have an opportunity to partner with us to promote and advance the preservation of Arkansas and University history, whether that's by sharing our materials through publication and word-of-mouth, advocating for libraries and special collections to legislators and stakeholders, or making direct contributions. Special Collections welcomes both material and monetary donations in order to support our collecting and research mission.
Manuscript and Archive Collections
Special Collections relies on its donors to build our manuscript collections and help us to represent Arkansas history and culture—in all its many variations and facets. These donations may include diaries, journals, personal memoirs and correspondence, legal, business, and financial records, drawings, photographs, maps, or other records, in both digital and analog formats. They may have been created by individuals or families, renowned or unknown, or by organizations including churches, schools, social clubs, or political parties.
Special Collections is most interested in materials that provide significant informational context about the records and their creator(s). As we are a manuscript repository rather than a museum, our collecting focus is on materials with informational value; while we do accept memorabilia and objects as complementary, integral parts of larger collections, in general, we limit acquisitions of three-dimensional objects.
The Special Collections archival staff prepares manuscript materials for use. This task may include cleaning, arranging, and boxing papers, and creating online finding aids for researchers to consult. Information about the materials is entered into the library catalog and on the Special Collections website. When donors place family manuscripts or other rare materials in Special Collections, they can be confident that these materials will be carefully maintained in a secure environment. Through the years, they will be a lasting memorial to the donors and their achievements.
In order to responsibly care for the materials under our care and ensure the widest possible representation of materials within our collecting scope, we cannot, unfortunately, accept everything. Please contact Special Collections to discuss materials you are interested in donating, and we'll work with you to find out whether Special Collections is the best home for those materials.
For additional information regarding gifts of manuscript collections and other archival materials, please contact:
- Collections Management and Processing Unit Head
For donations of University of Arkansas historical materials and of the papers of student groups or faculty members, please contact:
- University Archivist
Special Collections collects published materials in three primary areas:
- Rare books: You can view a list of Special Collections' current rare book collections.
- Arkansas books and serials: You can view a list of Special Collections' current Arkansas print collections.
- Special libraries that complement our manuscript collections: For those donating a manuscript collection who also have a specialized library collection of books and periodicals that supplements that collection, Special Collections may, depending on its relevance to our collecting scope and researcher needs, accept these donations for cataloging as a separate book collection.
For gifts of published materials, please contact:
- Rare Books Librarian and Instruction and Outreach Unit Head
Financial gifts can help us support additional processing projects, preservation materials, and digital projects. If you're interested in giving financially to Special Collections, please contact:
- Director of Development