home > reference & research > special collections > donations We welcome donations to our collections to increase their research value and preserve the record of our shared heritage.
  • Contact us to discuss whether we can accept your donation or suggest a more appropriate recipient for your donation.
  • Please discuss preparation of the donation with staff before sorting, weeding or reorganizing your collections. It is often helpful for us to receive collections in their original order. Materials which seem unimportant may be significant in light of our other collections.
  • You may be asked to sign a donation agreement to document the transfer of ownership. Any material donated becomes the property of the Library. Transfer of materials does not affect the copyright status unless materials are specifically owned by the donor and the rights are specifically transferred to the Library.
  • We do not appraise materials or collections. It is the donor's responsibility to determine the monetary value of donated items.
  • Financial donations to support our collections are welcome, but should be referred to the Friends of Hennepin County Library.
What we collect

From businesses, organizations and government agencies based or operating in Minneapolis:
  • Annual reports, financial reports, meeting minutes
  • Newletters or other organization publications
  • Research or other special reports
  • Legal documents
  • Architectural records, maps and diagrams
  • House or building histories
  • Catalogs, programs, menus or other descriptions or schedules of products or services
  • Yearbooks from colleges, academies, and public and private secondary and elementary schools
  • Manuals, guides or other instructional materials produced by the organization and related to their operations
  • Photographs(with identification) and other visual media(e.g., 16mmm film, VHS, DVDs, posters etc.)
  • Audio recordings
  • Official correspondence
  • Manuscripts of published material
  • Advertisements, flyers, pamphlets, postcards and other promotional material
Related to individuals as they are living in Minneapolis, or active with a Minneapolis-based organization (e.g., a sports team):
  • Photographs(with identification)
  • Manuscripts, and other creative output(e.g.,musical score)
  • Memoirs, diaries and journals
  • Correspondence
  • Other materials directly related to the individual
  • Personal scrapbooks directly related to the individual
  • Audio and video recordings
Electronic versions of all of the above are acceptable.

What we don't collect
  • Non-printed realia (e.g., furniture, furnishings, equipment, knick-knacks)
  • Routine financial information such as receipts, statements, invoices or ledgers
  • Material not directly related to Minneapolis subjects
  • Photographs with no date or time frame or unidentified subjects
  • Art work will be considered on a case-by-case basis but is not normally collected
Why donate?
  • The records of individuals, organizations, businesses and communities provide important historical information about our community.
  • Donated records are arranged, described, preserved and made accessible by professional staff
  • The records will become part of our community's heritage and made available to everyone and preserved for future generations
  • Use of all parts of the collection is free and available to the public.
  • Collections are used extensively by students, researchers, writers, artists, teachers, architects, business persons and other library patrons

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