Donations to the Archives

Q&A for Potential Alumni Donors

Have a question on the materials in the archives? See below for more information or contact the archivists.

The Avila University Archives is looking to collect personal papers documenting the educational experience of Avila/College of St. Teresa (afterward referred to as Avila) alumni. The archives preserve and makes these materials available to aid in research, instruction, and historical documentation projects. Alumni papers provide important insights into the history and evolution of the University, help document the educational experience, and can provide a basis for research in broader areas of American life and culture, and social research.


Items likely to be of interest to the Archives include, but are not limited to:

  • Biographical information: resumes, vitae, bibliographies, memoirs, and published and manuscript biographical sketches;
  • Avila University correspondence and files: outgoing and incoming correspondence, diaries, identified photographs, and scrapbooks that provide documentation of the Avila University experience relating to enrollment, attendance, involvement in student and alumni organizations and activities;
  • Personal correspondence with other Avila University alumni;
  • Course material: class notebooks, student papers, exams, and correspondence relating to an academic career at Avila University;
  • Publications: one copy of all articles or books;
  • Audio-visuals from student days at Avila University: identified photographs, films, and sound and video recordings;
  • Artifacts and memorabilia in cases of great importance and manageable physical size and condition. Please consult with the Archives to discuss options for the preservation of such objects.

Unfortunately, no. Documents that generally should not be donated without prior consultation with the archives include:

  1. Financial records, canceled checks, and receipts;
  2. Routine correspondence, especially non-personally addressed mail and routine letters of transmittal and acknowledgment;
  3. Duplicates and multiple copies of publications: keep only the original and heavily annotated copies;
  4. Typescripts, drafts, and galleys of publications and speeches unless the final publication or presentation is unavailable;
  5. Books, research papers, journal articles, and reprints written by other persons;
  6. Medical records of any sort.

Materials should be transferred in the order in which they were maintained. A letter briefly identifying the material and describing the activity to which they relate should accompany the transfer.


The Archives accepts donations regardless of format (e.g., published, typescript, audio-visual, and electronic data, such as computer disks and files). For documents in formats requiring any form of machine intervention, such as videotapes and all computer files, consideration should be given to converting the documents to a format accessible to the Archives’ users. Early consultation with the Archives is strongly encouraged for all such materials.


Because of broad variations in personal papers, it is advisable to consult with the Archives to determine how your own files relate to these guidelines. This list is intended as a general guide and exceptions can be made only after a review of the conditions under which the documents were generated and their potential usefulness.


Your papers will be made available to researchers as soon as they are processed; or after a period of time specified by the donor (you).


Donors may be entitled to take an income tax deduction by claiming their gift of rare or manuscript materials as a charitable donation. While Archives staff cannot serve as tax advisors, it is the Archives’ understanding that to claim a deduction for non-cash gifts in excess of $500 within a calendar year, a donor must file IRS Form 8283 ( See Instructions for guidance ( A formal appraisal, performed no more than sixty days before the date of the gift is required if deductions are sought for any gift valued at over $5,000. Professional standards, University policy, and IRS regulations prohibit Avila University staff from making such a monetary appraisal.


Alumni papers provide important insights into the history and evolution of the University, help document the educational experience, and can provide a basis for research in broader areas of American life and culture and social research.

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