The Historical Society of Haddonfield Library and Archive welcomes inquiries about potential donations. Our research library was created almost entirely through donations, and we work to provide all researchers with ready access to these important holdings about our town’s history.
Please contact the Archivist before dropping off or shipping any material, so that we can work with you to determine the most appropriate disposition of the material. All donations must be accompanied by a signed and dated Deed of Gift.
(For information about donating objects to the museum, volunteering, or offering financial or other support to the Historical Society of Haddonfield, please see the “Support” page.)
What to Donate
The Library and Archive collects a wide variety of archival and print materials related to the history of Haddonfield and its environs. Our archivist and/or Library Committee will work with you to identify which materials are appropriate to donate to the Library. In some cases, we may wish to see the material before it is physically transferred.
As described in our Collection Management Policies, the Library collects personal papers created by individuals and families as well as records created by organizations, businesses and other institutions. We collect archival materials such as letters, diaries, account books, deeds, meeting minutes, scrapbooks, photographs, pamphlets, invitations, professional files, financial and membership records, legal documents, articles of incorporation, and more. We also collect published and printed materials when they supplement our existing library collection and/or our collection focus. As space allows, the Library collects photocopies of original materials that may be useful for researchers interested in the history of the Haddonfield area, especially copies of hard-to-access original items.
We are especially interested in adding to our manuscript collections from the 18th and 19th centuries, and in materials that document business, civic, cultural, and political activities in Haddonfield and the surrounding area.
Transferring Materials to the Library
Please contact us before dropping off any material, so that we can discuss the donation process with you and help you identify which materials are appropriate to donate. You can then make an appointment to deliver the items in person. In exceptional cases, Historical Society staff or volunteers may be able to pick up the materials.
To transfer ownership of the archival materials to the Library, we will ask you to sign a deed of gift. The deed of gift includes a brief description of the material donated and can be customized to address the individual donor’s needs. The Library generally does not accept materials on deposit or on loan.
Care of the Collections
The Library’s archival collections are kept in controlled and secure storage. Staff or trained volunteers retrieve them for research use in a supervised reading room. When the building is closed, it is protected by an electronic security system.
As resources and time permit, Library staff and volunteers improve research access by arranging collections, describing them in online finding aids and catalog records, and at times, digitizing items. Staff and volunteers preserve items by transferring collection materials to acid-free folders and boxes, and may seek more specialized treatment from professionally trained preservation technicians.
Of course, arranging, describing, and preserving collections is expensive, and often depends on private contributions or grants. We would be happy to discuss with you the cost of processing your papers or records, and we encourage you to consider a monetary gift so that we can complete this work in a timely manner.
Access to Collections
As a general rule, the Library aims to provide full public access to our collections, within the framework of our library policies and procedures. In rare cases, the Library may need to restrict access to specific documents, such as personnel or student records, for a limited period for legal reasons or to protect privacy. A collection may also be unavailable to researchers for a limited period if staff or volunteers are processing it or conducting more specialized preservation treatments.
Monetary Appraisals for Tax Deductions
You may be able to take a tax deduction for the donation of personal papers to the Library and Archive. Historical Society staff and volunteers cannot legally provide monetary appraisals of your gifts. We can supply you with a list of professional appraisers in South Jersey and/or the Philadelphia area, and we encourage you to discuss possible tax implications with your accountant and attorney.
To discuss the possible gift of manuscripts, print materials, graphics, or other items, contact David Platt, Archivist and Librarian, Historical Society of Haddonfield, at:
- [email protected]
- … or by telephone: (856) 429-7375.
The Historical Society is located at 343 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield, NJ 08033.
Updated 2/3/2015; updated 8/13/2022.