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Donating Your Materials to the Carnegie Mellon University Archives

What we collect from CMU Faculty and Affiliates

What legacy will you leave behind? The University Archives house numerous papers from faculty and affiliates, including staff and individuals closely related to Carnegie Mellon. We selectively collect materials from faculty and affiliates to document university life and culture as well as the societal impact of research over time. These materials document individuals’ personal and professional lives and illustrate

  • significant discoveries, innovations, projects, or research
  • committee responsibilities or other service to the university
  • roles within schools, groups, or programs
  • networks and communities that influence and enable research
  • teaching and lecture activities
  • university policy and culture

We are committed to preserving collections reflective of the diverse experience and expertise at CMU.

What We Collect

  • autobiographical and biographical information, including vitae, bios, bibliographies, clippings, and chronologies.
  • minutes and proceedings
  • policies and procedures
  • reports
  • proposals
  • annual reports
  • subject files and collected resources
  • personal and professional correspondence, memos, and emails
  • consulting files
  • professional organization files
  • speeches, talks, and presentations
  • lab notebooks
  • research notes
  • research material, including hardware, software, code, and data
  • research proposals (even unsuccessful proposals)
  • drafts, manuscripts, and reviews
  • unpublished writings
  • materials from University committees or task forces
  • course materials, including syllabi, outlines, lectures notes, slides, reading lists, and ungraded exams
  • diaries and journals
  • scrapbooks
  • audio and video recordings
  • photographs and slides
  • websites
  • artifacts and memorabilia
  • oral histories


Preparing Your Records


Before sending your records, please contact us. We will answer your questions and explain the donation process in more detail.

Create an Inventory

If you are able to create an inventory for the materials, that's ideal, but not neseccary. 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 will help us create a detailed description for the collection, which will serve as a guide 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. 

Storage Device

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

Electronic Delivery

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