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Rhoads Memorial Archives: Donation Policies

Donations Text


Before donating any historical material to Mount Saint Mary's, please contact the Archivist to verify that the items fall within the Archives' Collection Policy, as seen below. Archival institutions cooperate among themselves to ensure that historic material is placed in the most appropriate repository for the benefit of those who use these resources, the researchers. If the items you wish to donate do not fall under the collection policy of Mount Saint Mary's Archives, the Archivist will be able to help you find the most appropriate repository for the material, if you still wish to donate it to an institution where it will be preserved and made accessible to researchers.


If the items you wish to donate come under the Archives' collection policy, the Archivist will ask you to complete and sign a Deed of Gift. Materials given to the Archives by a donor cannot be accessioned into the collection until a proper deed of gift is executed. The deed of gift formally transfers legal ownership of the donated materials to the Archives. The deed of gift can be downloaded, completed, and forwarded along with the donation to:

Jessica Boyer, Director of the Library

16300 Old Emmitsburg Road

Emmitsburg, MD 21727


For an explanation of this process and its ramifications, or for more information on donating family or personal papers to an archival repository, you may consult A Guide to Donating Your Personal or Family Papers to a Repository, published by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). If you would like information on donating your organization’s records, please refer to A Guide to Donating Your Organizational Records to a Repository, also published by SAA.


Collection Policy

Mount Saint Mary's University Rhoads Memorial Archives collects, arranges, stores, preserves, and makes available the records of the University and Seminary, its founders, faculty, supporters, and alumni, as well as the community of which it is a part. The Archives maintains the historical record of the founding, development and growth, philosophy, purposes, and significant decisions, activities, programs, and policies of the University and Seminary.


The Archives collects records documenting the activities, decisions, policies, and programs of faculty departments and administrative offices. The Archives also collects the personal papers of prominent officers, faculty, and alumni. It serves as a resource for information on the history of the University and Seminary, the local community, and practice of Catholicism in Maryland in general and northwestern Maryland and south-central Pennsylvania in particular. The Archives collects artwork and artifacts associated with the University and Seminary and its faculty, alumni, and supporters, and with the history and practice of Catholicism.


Records are defined as all recorded information regardless of format or medium. This includes, but is not limited to, paper documents, publications, posters, ephemera, microforms, photographs, audiovisual material, artifacts, textiles, and electronic records.


Reference materials are those items that are acquired and retained by the Archives for informational purposes only. These may include contemporary published sources, indices, or microform copies of resources. Archival materials are those materials that are acquired and maintained for both informational and artifactual purposes.


Items may be acquired through transfer from University and Seminary offices and departments, or by donations from individuals or organizations. Donated items will be accepted for the collection provided the following conditions are met:

  • the items are relevant to and consistent with the mission and activities of the Archives, and

  • the Archives is able to provide the storage, security, and preservation of the items under consideration in a manner that ensures their availability for research and use, in accordance with generally accepted professional standards for Archives.


Mount Saint Mary's University Rhoads Memorial Archives actively pursues the acquisition of:

  • The recorded documentation, in paper, microform, electronic, audiovisual, or any other format and medium, of the actions, decisions, policies, and programs of the University and Seminary. This includes governing bodies, officers, committees, faculty departments, and administrative office records.

  • Substantial publications, reports, and audiovisual items created by the University for documentation and distribution, including web site records.

  • Memorabilia and artifacts holding special commemorative or documentary significance for the University and Seminary, and its faculty and alumni.

  • Personal papers of and books written by faculty, staff, and alumni.

  • Personal papers of prominent supporters.

  • Religious artwork and artifacts of significance or related to the history of the University and Seminary.

  • Artwork created by alumni, faculty, and staff, or local residents and artists with a significant relationship with the University and Seminary.

  • Items documenting the activities and accomplishments of the alumni and faculty.


In order to meet information needs adequately and to place the historic records into proper context, the Archives also collects in the following areas:

  • Local history and genealogy, in particular, northern Frederick County, Maryland, and southern Adams County, Pennsylvania.

  • Works of significance on American Catholic theology, ethics, and philosophy published more than 75 years ago.

  • The history and practice of Catholicism in western Maryland and south-central Pennsylvania.

  • Significant works on the history and practice of Catholicism in Maryland published more than 75 years ago.

  • Significant works on the history and practice of American Catholicism published more than 75 years ago


Deposit Agreement

Materials loaned to or deposited with the Archives will be accepted only under extraordinary circumstances, and with the understanding that the materials will be donated to the Archives at a specified date or in the event of the owner's death. Archives staff will not process, provide archival or museum housing, or create finding guides to the materials unless financial support is provided by the owner. A Deposit Agreement specifying access policies and circumstances for permanent transfer of ownership must be executed before the materials are accepted into the Archives.

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