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F&M College Library

Archives Policies

Our Policies

Gift Policy


Over the years, the Archives & Special Collections at Franklin & Marshall College has grown from the generous donation of material and financial gifts. Alumni, faculty, private organizations, and members of the public have all given generously in support of the college's mission.

The College Library continues to welcome such gifts, and hopes you will consider contributing to the educational and historical value of the collections.

Please see the information below for a full overview of our Gift policies.

What We Collect & Do Not Collect

Archives & Special Collections seeks materials that match aspects of the following subject areas:

  • African American History
  • Art of the Book
  • Artists' Books
  • Autographs
  • Classical Literature
  • Exploration - 19th Century
  • Franklin & Marshall Academy History
  • Franklin & Marshall College History
  • German American Imprints
  • History of Science
  • Incunabula
  • Items relating to Benjamin Franklin
  • Items relating to John Marshall
  • Jewish American History
  • Lexicography
  • Lincolniana
  • Literary Papers
  • Local History, Lancaster City, PA
  • Local History, Lancaster County, PA
  • Military History
  • Miniature Books
  • Napoleonana
  • Pennsylvania Civil War History
  • Pennsylvania German Culture
  • Theater, Television, and Film
  • Women's History

Archives & Special Collections collects materials of the following types/formats:

  • Autographs
  • Broadsides
  • Carte-des-Visites
  • Correspondence (personal and professional)
  • Diaries/ Journals
  • Digital Files
  • Drafts of creative works
  • Films/ Videotapes
  • Financial Records
  • Fraktur
  • Legal Records
  • Maps
  • Memoirs/ Reminiscences
  • Microfilm/Microform
  • Newsletters
  • Organizational Publications
  • Office Files
  • Oral History Tapes/ Transcripts
  • Pamphlets/ Brochures
  • Photographs
  • Postcards
  • Posters
  • Prints
  • Rare Books
  • Reports
  • Scrapbooks
  • Sheet Music
  • Sound Recordings
  • Speeches/ Lectures


Please Note: New collections that may support the mission of the college will also be considered with great interest. For a complete understanding of current collecting priorities, please consult the Collection Development Policy of Archives & Special Collections.


Archives & Special Collections does not collect any and all items relating to American and World History, common reproductions of historical documents, decorative arts artifacts, and local genealogical materials.

Access to Materials

The College Library abides by the 2009 Association of College & Research Libraries/Society of American Archivists (ACRL/SAA) Joint Statement on Access to Research Materials in Archives and Special Collections Libraries.

The Archives & Special Collections of Franklin & Marshall College can only accept items when they are donated free and clear of all restrictions. Materials will not be accepted with restrictions as to use, secure storage, or future disposition.

Care of Materials

When the Archives & Special Collections accepts and catalogs new gift material, it takes care to ensure its long-term preservation, and to make items accessible to students, faculty, and professional researchers. All materials are housed in secure areas under environmentally controlled conditions. Items do not circulate outside the Archives & Special Collections Reading Area. Acid-free boxes, folders, and other containers are employed to house physical materials, and item-level conservation steps are taken when appropriate. To enhance the research use of materials, collections are arranged, described, and cataloged in accordance with nationally recognized library and archival standards. To promote widespread awareness of holdings, the College Library makes descriptions of collections available through its website, the Franklin & Marshall DISCOVER system, internet search engines, and national directories such as Archives Finder.

Copyright & Tax Considerations

Preferably, copyright remains with the donor and/or donor's heirs, subject to copyright ownership and renewals. The statement on copyright within the Deed of Gift should be addressed at the time of transfer. For additional information regarding copyright and public domain, please see the following websites:


In compliance with the current tax law, the Library does not provide appraisals for gifts received. The appraisal of a gift to the Library for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor who benefits from the tax deduction.

Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions - If a donor makes noncash gifts over $500 for the year, the donor must complete and attach IRS Form 8283 to their annual tax return. If any single gift or group of similar gifts is valued at over $5,000, the donor must also get an appraisal of the item from a qualified appraiser.

Making a Gift

If you are interested in making a material or financial gift to Archives & Special Collections, please stop by the Martin Library of the Sciences, or contact librarian Christopher Raab with a description of the potential gift.

Christopher Raab, Associate Librarian
Archives & Special Collections
Martin Library of the Sciences
Franklin & Marshall College
P.O. Box 3003
Lancaster, PA 17604-3003

Please Note: For UPS/FedEx packages, please substitute the following street address and zip code for P.O. Box 3003:

415 Harrisburg Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17603

Deed of Gift

Deed of Gift will be discussed with the donor, and signed by all parties upon transfer of the materials. The Deed of Gift addresses the following legal concerns:

  1. Statement as to the ownership of the physical materials.
  2. Statement as to the administration and use of the materials.
  3. Statement as to the ownership of literary rights.
  4. Statement as to the disposition of materials not retained upon final review.


A sample copy of our Deed of Gift form can be provided upon request.

Thank you for considering the Archives & Special Collections at Franklin & Marshall College.