What we collect
Special Collections welcomes inquiries about potential donations. Please contact us first before shipping any material. We will then work with you to determine the most appropriate disposition of the material and to conclude a deed of gift.
Special Collections collects a wide variety of archival material related to architects and architecture in California, California and regional history, and fine printing and graphic arts. Special Collections staff members will work with you to identify which materials are appropriate to donate. In some cases, Special Collections staff members may wish to see the material before it is physically transferred.
What to Donate
Special Collections collects both personal papers created by individuals and families, and records created by organizations and businesses. Types of materials that we collect may include: letters, diaries, architectural drawings and plans, records of architectural practices, photographs, motion pictures, account books, deeds, meeting minutes, scrapbooks, pamphlets, invitations, research files, business records, professional files, and others.
Transferring Materials to Special Collections
Please contact us before shipping any material, so that we can discuss the donation process with you and help you identify which materials to donate. You can then ship the records or papers to us or make an appointment to deliver them in person. In some cases, Special Collections staff members may be able to pick up the materials.
To transfer ownership of the archival materials to Special Collections, we will ask you to sign a deed of gift. The deed of gift includes a brief description of the material donated and can be customized to address the individual donor's needs. The donation becomes official once it is reviewed and approved by the Head of Special Collections. Special Collections generally does not accept materials on deposit or on loan.
Care of the Collections
Special Collections' archival collections are kept in environmentally balanced, secure, closed stack storage areas. Staff members retrieve them for research use in a supervised reading room. Additional security measures are also taken.
As resources and time permit, Special Collections staff members improve research access by arranging collections and describing them in written finding aids and online catalog records. To preserve them physically, collection materials are transferred to acid-free folders and boxes and sometimes receive more specialized treatment from professionally trained preservation technicians.
Arranging, describing, and preserving collections is expensive, and often depends on grants or private contributions. We would be happy to discuss with you the cost of processing your papers or records, and we encourage you to consider a monetary gift so that we can complete this work in a timely manner.
Monetary Appraisals for Tax Deductions
You may be able to take a tax deduction for the donation of personal papers to Special Collections at Cal Poly. However, Special Collections staff members cannot provide monetary appraisals of your gifts. We can supply you with a list of professional appraisers, and we encourage you to discuss possible tax implications with your accountant and attorney.
- Contacts for gifts
- Telephone: 805/756-2305
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- For possible gifts of archival material, make your inquires to the attention of Catherine Trujillo
- For possible gifts of books, make your inquiries to the attention of Ken Kenyon
Access to Collections
As a general rule, Special Collections provides access to collections within the framework of our library policies and procedures. Please see our page on Access to Special Collections for more information.