Gifts and Donations

Special Collections welcomes gifts of books, manuscripts, and other materials that are deemed to be within the scope of its collection. Any material accepted commits us to the task of organizing and preserving it, which involves the personnel time and the cost of archival supplies. Due to limited staffing, budget and space, all donations or gifts are subject to review by the Director of Special Collections or Dean of the Library and may be declined if they fail to meet the requirements of our Collection Development policy. Once donated, Special Collections safeguards the material according to professional standards, ensuring equitable access for generations to come.

Special Collections does not collect materials outside the scope of our Collection Development policy, including the following:

  • Materials that are irreparably damaged or infested by insects or mold.
  • Materials in which the donor's ownership is in question or disputed.
  • Duplicate materials.
  • Partial collections.
  • Facsimiles (photocopies or scans) of materials from another repository or in private collections.
  • Materials for which we are unable to provide sufficient support to preserve and provide access.
  • Permanent loans or deposits.

Make a Gift

To avoid misunderstandings, we ask that all prospective donors consult with the appropriate staff members before making arrangements to have gifts sent or delivered to Special Collections. If you have a special donation situation or questions, please contact the Director of Special Collections or email archives@utc.eduGifts accepted are subject to the policies of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with the understanding that the university becomes the owner of the material upon its receipt and reserves the right to determine retention, location, cataloging treatment, and other considerations relating to use or disposition.

Provided that the donor is the copyright holder, he or she may also transfer the rights to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. When rights are transferred, the Special Collections can provide the greatest amount of public access to the material. Special Collections may reproduce the holdings for access and preservation purposes without restriction.

View our Deed of Gift and Explanation to learn more about the transfer of title and copyright to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

If you are interested in contributing an oral history to Special Collections, please review visit Conduct an Oral History Interview for more information.

Gift Acceptance

Once accepted, all gifts are deemed the property of The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Special Collections will determine whether the gift item should be added to its collections, used for exchange, or disposed of in accordance with our policies. Special Collections may decline to accept certain gifts, including those which are not within the scope of its collections or that do not support the instructional and research programs of the university. Other gifts may not be accepted if they duplicate existing material in Special Collections or if their condition would require extensive preservation or preparation before they could be added to the collection. A gift copy may be used to replace a currently held volume in poor condition.


Please note that in accordance with Internal Revenue Service regulations, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is prohibited from appraising or estimating the value of any gift. Donors who require an appraisal need to make arrangements to do so with an independent appraiser and pay for that service themselves. Acceptance of a gift at an appraised value does not necessarily constitute endorsement of said valuation.


The donor will receive an acknowledgment response from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga upon receipt of the gift.