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Special Collections & University Archives: Donating to Special Collections

This is the webpage for UTRGV Special Collections & University Archives.

Special Collections & Archives Temporary Closure

Closed temporarily. Email for assistance.

Donating to the Archives

Donating to UTRGV Special Collections & University Archives

The University Library is currently not accepting donations to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Do you have interesting artifacts from your family or from collecting over the years that you think we would be interested in? We collect documents, such as letters, diaries, maps, photographs, videos, and audiotapes that focus on the Lower Rio Grande Valley and which help illustrate the history and culture of the area. Please see our Donation Policy below for further information.

We do not generally collect museum items, such as clothing, tools, toys, or other objects. These have their own unique requirements for proper preservation and conservation. Please contact area museums directly:

Donation Policy

The University Library is currently not accepting donations to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

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 in accordance with 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 which fail to meet its criteria for acceptance.
  • All donations must include a detailed inventory, including a line for each item to be donated.
  • A Deed of Gift must be completed prior to or concurrent with the delivery of donated materials.


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 same policies and guidelines that apply for 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 reallocation of funds originally earmarked for other acquisitions?
  • 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.


Acknowledgment of Donations

Donors will receive written acknowledgment upon receipt of items with the exception of donations registered as anonymous.



All donations valued more than $500 will require a third-party appraisal of the materials prior to donation. The appraisal of a gift to the library for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor, and any and all 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 which 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.



Donation materials are only accepted at designated locations upon prior approval of the Head of Special Collections & Archives, 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.



The library does not pick-up donations. It is the donor's responsibility to deliver donations upon prior approval of the Head of Special Collections & Archives.

Monetary donations

The UTRGV Library Archives is a non-profit organization. Preparing materials for use by researchers is the most expensive operation in a repository. Although financial gifts are rarely a prerequisite for the acceptance of a collection, donors who can also assist repositories with financial support are encouraged to do so. Donors' financial gifts of cash, stocks, bonds, or mutual funds can help the UTRGV Library Archives pay for the arrangement, cataloging, and conservation of their donated personal materials. A donor may earmark financial gifts for immediate use by the UTRGV University Library or, to provide long term financial support, the donor may donate funds to establish an endowment. Gifts to an endowment are invested long term; income is disbursed annually from the endowment to provide financial support to maintain and preserve the archived materials.