Donating to Special Collections

Special Collections acquires material that supports the teaching and research mission of the university and build upon existing collection strengths. The department is committed to developing unique and distinctive collections in areas which have scarce coverage elsewhere.

Endowments and Bequests

Private donors and organizations may provide funding to establish collection endowments, support the acquisition of new collections, and sponsor student assistant positions. Naming opportunities are available for significant financial donations. New opportunities include the naming of the gallery entrance to Special Collections and University Archives and the department's main reading room.


Gifts-in-kind will be accepted and added to the collection only if they are in conformity with the collection development strategy and do not exhibit preservation concerns or hazards (e.g., mold, dampness, or insect damage). Examples of the types of material collected and preserved are: manuscripts; books; maps and atlases; photographs; letters; diaries; speeches and lectures; memoirs; scrapbooks and albums; business records; and audio and video recordings.

A gift agreement, referred to as a "deed of gift," is a legal document that transfers physical ownership of a collection to the Stony Brook Foundation and/or the University Libraries.

Donors may seek valuations from independent, accredited appraisers prior to physical transfer of the item(s). Material must then be accepted by the university within 60 days of the appraisal. Donors are strongly encouraged to consult with their attorneys and/or tax preparers prior to making donations. Helpful documents include the IRS publication "Determining the Value of Donated Property" and IRS form 8283. Independent appraisers may be identified by consulting the following websites:

     - Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America
     - Appraisers Association of America

Information about donating personal papers or organizational records to a repository can be consulted on the website of the Society of American Archivists:

       - Personal Papers
       - Organizational Records