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Special Collections & University Archives: Donating to Special Collections

Welcome to our LibGuide! Use the pages here to learn more about our department and research collections.

Special Collections & Archives is not accepting donations of any materials at this time.

UTRGV University Library Special Collections and Archives does not accept unsolicited donations.

We are currently unable to accept donated materials due to space and resource constraints.

Potential donors may wish to consider a monetary donation to the library or another area of greatest need. Click here to learn more.

Members of the Rio Grande Valley community may alternatively consider donating to one of the following organizations.

Donating to UTRGV Special Collections & Archives

Donating to UTRGV Special Collections & University Archives

We collect historical materials, such as letters, diaries, maps, photographs, publications, and audiovisual recordings that document the Lower Rio Grande Valley and help illustrate the history and culture of the area. We do not generally collect artifacts or museum items, such as clothing, tools, toys, or other objects due to their unique requirements for preservation and conservation. Please contact area museums directly:

Donation Policy

The University Library Special Collections & Archives is pleased to accept donations or memorial gifts that fit within our collection development policy provided no restrictions or conditions are placed upon their use.

  • The library has the right to deny or discard any donations or gifts at any time. Materials that are removed will be discarded, offered to another institution, or returned to the donor per the donor’s written instructions.
  • The library has the right to determine the location, circulating policies, and classification for all donations accepted into the collection.
  • The library is not obligated to retain any donations that fail to meet its criteria for acceptance.
  • All donations must include a detailed inventory, including a line for each item to be donated.
  • Donations of materials or collections valued at $500 or more will not be accepted without a third-party monetary appraisal. (See Third-party Appraisals tab.)
  • A Deed of Gift must be completed before or concurrent with the delivery of donated materials.
  • Donated materials are subject to the approval of the Dean of Libraries and Head of Special Collections & Archives

Criteria for Acceptance

All donations require advance approval by the Head of Special Collections & Archives based on the following considerations:

  • Evaluation / Selection Guidelines - Material will be evaluated using the same policies and guidelines that apply to the selection and purchase of new material based on the inventory list provided
  • Cost of Acquisition - Consider the following: Is the value of the gift commensurate with the costs involved in cataloging, processing, and storing the materials? Will the gift require a reallocation of funds originally earmarked for other acquisitions or operations?
  • Physical Condition – Donated items that may put other materials within the collections at risk will not be accepted.
  • Space Constraints - The library will consider the issue of space when evaluating donated material.

Third-Party Appraisals

All donations valued at more than $500 will require a third-party monetary appraisal of the materials before donation. The appraisal of a gift to the library for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor, and any appraisal costs will be borne by the donor. To protect all parties, the library, as an interested party, will not appraise Donations. The acceptance of a gift that has been apprised by a third, and disinterested party, does not in any way imply an endorsement of the appraisal by the library. 

Please note that donations valued over $500 will require submission of the IRS 8283 "Non-cash Charitable Contributions” for charitable contributions federal deduction tax form.

The Society of American Archivists recommends contacting one of the three major appraisal organizations to find an appraiser who specializes in the monetary appraisal of historic materials and/or books and manuscripts.


Appraisers and booksellers in Texas

Antiquarian Book Mart

American Literature, Humanities, Military History, Civil War, Texas & the Southwest, Americana

3127 Broadway
San Antonio, TX 78209

Tom Munnerlyn Books

Western Americana, Military, Texana, U.S. Government documents

P.O. Box 15247
Austin, TX 78761
Fax: 512-846-2094

MacDonnell Rare Books

19th & 20th Century American & English Literary First Editions, Bibliography, Books about Books

9307 Glenlake Dr.
Austin, TX, 78730

Cheever Books

Used and rare books

3940 Broadway St.
San Antonio, TX 78209

Dorothy Sloan Rare Books

Fine and rare books, manuscripts, maps, prints & paintings, auctions, appraisals

P.O. Box 4825
Austin, TX 78765-4825
Fax: 512-477-8602

The History Shop

Texas History, Civil War era, WWI & WWII. Research and repair services are available.

713 E. Houston St.
San Antonio, TX 78205
Fax: 210-227-8550

Lee A Whatley, ISA AM

Texas art, American Indian art, contemporary art, American art, fine art photography

237 W. Main Street
Fredericksburg, TX 78624
(830) 456-0374

Liz Holderman, ISA AM

Books, collectibles, documents, figurines, memorabilia

Dallas, TX
(972) 670-7980

Ms. Lorraine Anne Davis, AAA

19th and 20th Century photography, cased images, digital images, photographic negatives, slides

Houston, TX
(713) 278-1584

Michael Laird Rare Books LLC

Rare and antiquarian printed books and manuscripts

Lockhart, TX
(917) 747-5953

Transfer and Delivery

The library is unable to pick up donations. It is the donor's responsibility to deliver donations upon prior approval of the Dean of Libraries and Head of Special Collections & Archives. Donation materials are only accepted at designated locations. Please confirm delivery, email:, phone: 956-665-5288:

  • Edinburg: Community Engagement & Student Success Building (ECESS), 1407 E. Freddy Gonzalez Dr., Edinburg, TX 78539
  • Brownsville: TBD, please contact for delivery location and details.

Acknowledgment of Donations

Donors will receive written acknowledgment upon receipt of items except donations registered as anonymous.