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Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Supporting Special Collections and University Archives

Why We Need Support

Although university funding covers the costs of staff and overhead, it does not provide funding for Special Collections acquisitions. These are funded solely through gifts to the Library. But success in acquiring desirable manuscripts, rare books, and other materials, and building a prestigious collection needs more than generosity. Success actually requires:

  • Thoughtfully defined collections and interests
  • Dependable funding at a predictable level
  • An institutional ability to move quickly and make immediate decisions
  • Support that can be mobilized to meet special opportunities

Special Collections works with a small number of respectable book dealers who have our collection interests firmly in mind and with whom we have worked for many years to cultivate a reputation for reliability and alacrity. By having dependable funding and responsive support, we can continue to maintain these relationships and continue to build and expand both our collections and our prestige in the academic community.

The Department of Special Collections and University Archives has been built with the support of many truly generous and caring people. These gifts tend to fall into two major types: gifts in kind and financial donations.

Gifts in Kind:

Papers and other tangible goods are considered gifts in kind. Many of Special Collections and University Archives’ best known collections and materials are these kinds of donations

Anyone wishing to offer a Gift in Kind should contact the Director of Special Collections.  Acceptance is based on our Gift Policy, our Collection Development Policy, and sometimes other practical or substantive considerations.

At the time of the gift, a Deed of Gift will be created and signed.

Gifts will be acknowledged by letter from Department of Institutional Advancement, and often a further thank you may be sent by the Director of Special Collections or the Dean of McFarlin Library.

Financial Giving:

Contact the Office of University Advancement and Alumni Engagement by calling 918-631-2561 or visit to learn more about making a financial contribution.

The McFarlin Fellows contributions also allow us to purchase rare books and manuscripts. The Ben Graf Henneke Society contributions allow us to bring in notable speakers for the Fellows dinners.