Deed of Gift


Updated brochure created by the Society of American Archivists, 2013.

A Deed of Gift is a very important form that every archives should have on hand. This document legally certifies that the donor is permanently giving you his or her collection of items, and that it now belongs to the Archives. Usually there are provisions that the collection is free from restrictions (such as privacy), or that the restrictions have a clear end-date.

Typically included in this form is the name of the donor (or donors), the name of the archives receiving the collection, a description of the materials being donated, and if there are any access restrictions (none if possible). The archives should also be receiving both the physical and intellectual custody (copyright) of the collection.

Include in your Deed of Gift a provision of what will happen to the materials should they no longer adhere to the collection policy of the archives and need to be deaccessioned. The usual options are to either return to the original donor or to offer the materials to a more suitable institution.

Along with your accession records of the collection, the Deed of Gift is an important document within the administrative records of the school archives.



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