A Deed of Gift: What Is It?
One of the most exciting aspects of being an archivist is when a person walks in the archives with a box of records they wish to donate. Every archivist will admit that their heart skips a beat when they see someone walk into their archives with records to donate.
Houston County, Tennessee Retired Teachers Scrapbooks Donation
A lot of archives would not be an archive without donors and the records they bring to us. We depend on people to help us save our history by donating family records that are not wanted, finds at garage sales and purchasing records at estate sales. A lot of small archives like the Houston County, Tennessee Archives does not have the budget to go out and purchase records, photographs and memorabilia at auctions or anywhere else.
When someone donates anything to an archive, the archivist should present the donor with a document that is called “A Deed of Gift”. This document is a legally binding document between the donor and the archive that transfers ownership and legal rights of the records from the donor to the archive.
Houston County, Tennessee Lions Club Records and Memorabilia Donation
Most archives will not accept a records donation without a signed deed of gift.
Information included in the deed of gift can be:
-name of the donor and archive
-description of the materials being donated
-terms of the transfer of ownership
-any restrictions imposed by the donor
-signatures of both the donor and the archivist
For more detailed information on a deed of gift, see the Society of American Archivists “A Guide to Deeds of Gift”