Giving to Special Collections
All of Special Collections' researchers and supporters have an opportunity to partner with us to promote and advance the access to and the preservation of the university's distinctive collections, 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.
General Donation Information
Special Collections relies on its donors to build our collections and support faculty research and the university's undergraduate and graduate curriculum by building on existing collecting strengths and by working with us to explore new collecting areas. Special Collections is most interested in materials that align with our collection development scope. 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 includes cleaning, arranging, and boxing papers, and creating online finding aids for researchers to consult. We collaborate with colleagues in the libraries to describe our print collections. Information about these materials is entered into the library catalog and on the Special Collections website. When you donate manuscripts to Special Collections, these materials are carefully maintained in a secure environment. These collections provide researchers opportunities to better understand the course of the human experience and provide the basis for books, articles, theses and dissertations, plays, poetry and works of art.
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. You can review our donation and deed of gift form.
Donations of manuscript collections 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 religious groups, schools, social clubs, or political parties.
For additional information regarding gifts of manuscript collections, please contact:
- Collections Management and Processing Unit Head
Donations to the University Archives may include documents and other materials that record the activities of the university, including administrative units, student organizations, and faculty. Additional information can be found in the University Archives Collection Policy and the Guidelines for Retiring Faculty. For donations of University of Arkansas materials, please contact:
- University Archivist
Special Collections collects published materials in three primary areas:
- Rare books: Includes the libraries of scholars and collectors, such as the poet John Gould Fletcher and legendary folklorist Vance Randolph, as well as selective purchases. Strengths include the print history of the Mississippi River Valley and the Arkansas region; folklore and folk music; the natural sciences, especially geology and early taxonomy; poetry and literary criticism; slavery, secession, and the Civil War; and the history of printing in Arkansas and mid-America.
- Arkansas books and serials: The Arkansas Collection includes more than 68,000 individually cataloged items, and the collection continues to grow along with the study and cultural production of the state.
- Special libraries: 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.
You can review our deed of gift form for print collections.
For gifts of published materials, please contact:
- Rare Books Librarian and Instruction and Outreach Unit Head
Your financial gifts provide students with project-based hands-on learning opportunities, enhance our facilities to better meet the needs of our growing instruction and outreach programs, and support the growth, arrangement, description, preservation, and digital conversion of our collections. Whether you want to make an impact with your financial contribution today, or set up a plan to support Special Collections through your estate, please contact:
- Director of Development