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Donating Your Materials to the Carnegie Mellon University Archives

Guide to donating materials to the University Archives.

Schedule a Consultation

Have materials to donate?

Contact us for a consultation. An archivist will answer your questions and review the donation process with you.





Academic Programs

The University Archives serve as the repository for all inactive official university records.

We collect records from all past and present academic programs, departments, and centers at Carnegie Mellon. This includes all schools, colleges, and interdisciplinary programs. We also house the records of inactive programs such as Margaret Morrison Carnegie College and the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research. We preserve these records for their historical, legal and fiscal value. University records are restricted 20 years from the date of creation.

Our goal is to document the creation, development, procedures, and priorities of academic units at CMU.

What We Collect

  • governance documents
  • accreditation records
  • policies
  • minutes
  • procedures
  • reports
  • correspondence and emails
  • speeches
  • subject files
  • biographical material
  • school or departmental histories
  • university newsletters, journals, and publications
  • promotional material and ephemera
  • event programs
  • announcements
  • audio and video recordings of events such as public talks, lectures, interviews, oral histories, and symposia.
  • photographs and slides
  • websites
  • campus blueprints, plans and site maps
  • artifacts and memorabilia
  • oral histories
  • social media


Preparing Your Records


Before sending your records, please contact us for a consultation with an archivist. We will answer your questions and explain the donation process in more detail.

Create an Inventory

First, create an approximate inventory of the materials. Depending on the size and format of the donation, this can take the form of a list of boxes or files, or a detailed account of every item. This inventory forms the initial metadata for the collection and serves as a guide for archivists as we begin the process of preserving your donation.


Analog Material

Pack them in sturdy boxes or containers (banker-sized boxes are preferred). Label each box with a rough account of the contents (eg. VHS Videotapes of Buggy) and number each box sequentially. As you are packing the material, try to retain the original order as much as possible.


An archivist will work with you to move or ship the boxes to our facility. If you need assistance packing the materials, the University Archives can provide support in most cases.


Digital Material

We have several methods available for digital material. We accept materials via storage device or electronic delivery.


Storage Device

We prefer USB flash drive or hard drive, but also accept devices such as CD and DVD as well as floppy disks and other obsolete media. We recommend using a storage device if donating large quantities or media files including photographs and video.


Electronic Delivery

We accept files via email and BOX. If using BOX, we will create the folder for you.