Donor FAQ

How can I donate my collection or archive?

Please contact the library to discuss the donation process. Each collection is unique, and a brief collection review is usually required to assess the value of the collection to the law school's history.

Is there paperwork involved in donating?

Yes. For donation of personal archives and unpublished historical materials, the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Archives (hereafter 'the Archives') requires the completion of a Donor Agreement. The Donor Agreement is signed by both the donor and an authorized representative of the repository. The signed Agreement governs the legal relationship between donor and repository and the legal status of the materials.

Can I place my collection on deposit?

The Archives does not accept temporary deposits of collections or loans of material. The Archives can only accept collections which will remain permanently in the Archives and will be permanently available for research.

How long before my collection is available to researchers?

All collections are inventoried soon after they are deposited so that a basic description of the material is available as soon as possible. However, full collection description for access is based on many factors, including the size, restrictions, and conservation and preservation issues. These issues may cause processing delays, and entire collections may not be completely open for research until all of the work is completed, the timing of which is different for every collection. However, repository staff strives to make each collection available for researchers at a basic level as soon as possible.

Who will look at my collection?

The Archives and its collections are open to the public for research. Collections are used by faculty, students, alumni, and academic and administrative departments. The Archives also serve a wide range of others such as scholars, genealogists, filmmakers, artists and authors.

Can I donate copies and keep my originals?

The Archives prefers to collect original records and materials rather than copies. This is due to researcher preference to use originals for both readability and the assurance of the integrity of the materials. Photocopies of a small collection, or selected materials from a large collection, can be provided for the donor's use. If the material you want to donate is a photocopy and the Archives does not own either the original or a photocopy, then special consideration may be given to its acquisition by the Archives.

Part of my archive is sensitive. What if I don't want people to see it right away?

During the donation process, repository staff will discuss with the donor the possibility of restricting part of a collection to protect the privacy of the donor or others. The Archives aims to make all records as accessible as possible to all researchers, but will normally agree to reasonable restrictions for limited periods of time as needed. These restrictions are included in the Donor Agreement.

What if some of my files are in outdated formats?

The Archives accepts donations regardless of format (published, typed, AV, electronic data such as computer disks or files). For documents in formats requiring machine intervention, such as VHS tapes and computer files, special consideration will be given to issues of long-term accessibility and preservation.

Can you appraise my items?

The Archives staff are not permitted to provide financial appraisals.

Will the Archives buy my collection?

At this time, the Archives can only receive collections through donation or gift.

Why does the Archives want me to donate my copyright?

Copyright belongs to the creator of original materials (such as photographs and writings), and can be legally transferred to the Archives. This allows the Archives to assist researchers in their scholarship by making it easier to provide permission to quote from the items contained in the collection. Transfer of copyright is encouraged for this reason, but not required. If donors prefer to retain all or a portion of their intellectual property rights in the collection, the Archives will include a provision at the time of donation.

How can I receive a tax deduction for my donation?

The Archives staff cannot give tax advice or appraise the monetary value of a collection. To qualify as acceptable for income tax purposes, the appraisal must be performed by a qualified appraiser who is not connected with the donor or with IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. It is the donor’s responsibility to arrange and bear the cost of appraisal. For deductions on gifts or donations valued at more than $5,000, the IRS requires the formal appraisal to be performed no more than sixty days before or after the date of gift or donation.

To claim a deduction for non-cash gifts in excess of $500 within a calendar year, the donor must complete IRS Form 8283. A copy of the formal appraisal arranged by the donor, and a copy of IRS Form 8283 should be submitted to the Archives when completed. The Archives will send acknowledgement of the donation to the donor for use with the donor’s tax paperwork.