Donating to the Archives – It’s Fun!
Do you have “stuff” you are considering donating to the Archives?
Hiram College Archives welcomes all donations from alumni. When the Archives receives a donation, it becomes the property of Hiram College Archives. As such, the department will be responsible for the accession, care, processing, storage, and de-accession of materials that do not fall within the parameters of the Archives Collection Policy. De-accessioning may also occur of there is considerable duplication of the item or artifact already present in the archives. When items are de-accessioned they may be returned to the donor, offered to an archives or museum that would better suit the items, or as a last resort disposed.
Unless otherwise specified at the time of the donation, all items that are in the collection after it is processed will be available to all researchers without restriction.
Questions to ask when deciding to donate to the Archives:
- Look at the item or artifact and ask, “Do I want to place this in the Archives where it will be protected as well as possible but may sit in archival storage for much of its existence, or do I want to keep it for myself and family?” No one should donate something and then regret it. Only donate what you feel comfortable letting go. The Archive currently has limited exhibit space and exhibits are rotated through on a regular basis, but that still means will spend more time on the shelf than in a display case.
- Another question to ask is, “Will this material help a future researcher?” The best way to answer this one is to try to think of a good topic for a paper or an exhibit that this would enhance. The most typical items that hold very little value for researcher and for displays.
- Because all archivists prefer open collection, class papers that have received grades or corrections, grade slips, or personal information that would create difficulties with access are better kept in your family rather than the archive.