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Gift Your Materials

The Clements Library collects primary source materials related to early American history in their original formats. Our holdings are particularly strong in 18th century material pertaining to exploration and colonialism, military history, and politics and government. We continue to acquire 19th century American history materials to strengthen our existing subject areas and fill in gaps. In addition, we collect representative 20th century primary-source materials to allow researchers to do comparative studies of aspects of American history over time.

The list below is intended to give some general guidelines for materials of interest. If you have historical materials that you think might be a good fit for our collections, please contact us.

What We Collect

  • Books, pamphlets, and other printed materials pertaining to American history and published prior to 1900, particularly materials documenting underrepresented groups
  • Selected 20th century printed materials related to military conflicts and other established collecting strengths
  • Manuscript collections documenting aspects of 18th-20th century American history, including personal letters and diaries, family papers, and organizational records
  • Manuscript and printed maps and atlases depicting the western hemisphere through the end of the 19th century
  • Visual material relating to American history through the early 20th century, such as prints, photographs, ephemera, and original art

Items Not Accepted

  • Any item with water damage and/or mold 
  • Three-dimensional objects not related to our manuscript collections
  • Photocopies or digital copies of original documents
  • Duplicates of materials already held
  • Modern hardcover or paperback books unrelated to Clements Library collections
  • Collections of newspaper clippings

Subject Interests Include
(not limited to)

  • African American history 
  • American Revolution
  • Civil War
  • Education and reform movements
  • Family life
  • Gold Rush
  • Military history
  • Native American history
  • Naval history
  • Politics and government
  • Reconstruction era in the American South
  • Religion
  • Slavery
  • Social history
  • Travel diaries and accounts
  • West Indies and the Atlantic world
  • Western Americana
  • Whaling and Atlantic trade
  • Women’s history