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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 records, artifacts, and memorabilia illustrating the student experience at Carnegie Mellon.

We collect materials documenting student activities, student organizations, and student life programs. These materials are the cornerstone of the University Archives providing rich insight into campus life as well as contemporary social, cultural, and political circumstances.

We are committed to preserving collections reflective of the diverse student experience at CMU including LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities, students with disabilities, and women.

What We Collect

  • constitutions and by-laws
  • organization histories
  • student newsletters, journals, newspapers, and publications
  • student yearbooks (for the Thistle Yearbook, only those after 2010)
  • policies
  • minutes
  • reports
  • event programs
  • promotional material
  • announcements
  • scrapbooks
  • websites
  • artifacts and memorabilia
  • audio and video recordings
  • photographs and slides
  • 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.