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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.






The University Archives house papers from alumni of Carnegie Mellon.

We selectively collect papers from alumni to document the social and intellectual life of students during their time at the university and their contributions and careers after graduation.

We cannot collect records from every graduate of Carnegie Mellon but our goal is to preserve papers reflective of the diverse experiences and strengths of our community.

What We Collect

  • autobiographical and biographical material
  • correspondence, letters, memos and emails
  • diaries and journals
  • records from student organizations and activities
  • event programs, posters, invitations and ephemera
  • audio and video recordings
  • photographs and slides
  • ungraded course materials including syllabi, notes, and assignments
  • scrapbooks
  • websites
  • materials that document career after graduation
  • artifacts and memorabilia
  • oral histories


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.