Gifts and Donations

Donating to the Archives

The University Archives & Manuscripts Department is committed to the continued growth of its collections. Experienced Archives staff work closely with donors to identify personal papers and organizational records of continuing historic value that correspond with the collecting policies of the library, including materials related to the history of the University of Hawaiʻi, Japanese American veterans, Hawaiʻi during World War II, and the political and social history of the Islands. Listed below are some examples of materials typically found in archival collections:

  • Personal and Family Papers: Letters; Speeches; Photographs and Photo Albums; Diaries; Research Notes; Genealogical Information; Professional Files; Scrapbooks; Lecture Notes; Biographical Information; Audio Visual Formats.
  • Organizational and Institutional Records: Articles of Incorporation; Correspondence; Financial Documents; Publications; By-Laws; Meeting Minutes; Planning Documents; Photographs; Annual Reports; Legal Documents; Press Releases; Membership Records; Research and Subject Files; Audio Visual Formats.

The research value of archival collections can be diminished if they are reorganized or “weeded,” so donors are encouraged to contact the Archives prior to sorting or discarding any materials that they wish to donate.

How to Donate

The Archives invites potential donors to visit the department to learn how collections are preserved and made accessible to researchers. Those interested in making a donation should contact the head of the Archives, who will work with potential donors to identify materials appropriate for preservation.

The Archives is a not-for-profit institution. Due to the high expenses associated with preserving and providing access to collections, it can only invest costly archival supplies and labor in the care of collections that it owns. Not owning the materials restricts the Archives’ ability to care for collections properly; therefore, the donor is asked to sign a Deed of Gift transferring legal ownership of the donated materials to the University of Hawaiʻi Library. Archives staff will then make arrangements to have the donated materials transported to the University of Hawaiʻi Library.

The donation of personal papers to the Archives may be tax deductible under certain circumstances. Donors are encouraged to speak with a tax consultant or an attorney about this possibility. By federal law, Archives staff cannot give tax advice or appraise the monetary value of collections, but they can provide donors with a list of professional manuscript appraisers. It is the responsibility of the donor to arrange for and bear the cost of any appraisal.

The cost of preserving and providing access to archives and manuscripts collections is extremely high. The Archives encourages donors to provide financial support for the processing and preservation of their collections.

For Additional Information

For more information on donating your heritage collections to the Archives, please contact :

By Mail: University Archives & Manuscripts Department University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Library 2550 McCarthy Mall Honolulu, HI 96822

Phone: (808) 956-6047; Fax: (808) 956-5968


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