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Curtis Accession of Reese Williams material
Donate to the Archives

One of the most lasting things you can do with your history is to contribute to the Pingry School Archives. Whether your materials are from your time at the school or are your personal letters and family photographs, your collection adds to a more inclusive historical record of the Pingry School.

A repository such as Pingry's Archives can provide long-term preservation of your materials, while also allowing current and future researchers such as genealogists, writers, and students to better understand and analyze history. Even more importantly, your collection can enrich the Pingry community’s collective memory.

Here are some tips on what to do when considering donating your materials to Pingry:

1. Examples of Materials

Some of the items the Archives may be interested in:

  • Photographs
  • Awards and certificates
  • Home movies, videos, and audio tapes
  • Letters and notes
  • Memoirs, reminiscences, and oral histories
  • Diaries and journals
  • Genealogical information and charts
  • Scrapbooks
  • Speeches and sermons
  • Brochures and flyers
  • Limited run publications such as family histories
  • Professional or business papers

2. On Organization

While organization of a collection is ordinarily best handled by archives professionals, a processing archivist generally changes very little in regards to the order in which materials arrive, as their “original order” can provide clues to future researchers. 

It is helpful if you can provide contextual information (the who, what, where, when, why, and how), such as names of people who appear in photographs or the stories behind significant items that document personal or family history.

You can choose to include letters and labels with your items to describe them, though please be careful to not cause damage. Do not use paperclips, staples, or tape that can rip materials.

3. The Donation Process

The donation process will almost always begin with a conversation between the donor and the Pingry Archives regarding the content and condition of the collection. Occasionally, an in person meeting might be necessary to gauge the condition and suitability of the materials.

Next, based on the information offered about the collection, the Archivist will prepare an initial deed of gift (DOG) form for the donor to review. A deed of gift is a formal and legal agreement between the donor and the repository that transfers to The Pingry School the ownership of and the legal rights to the donated materials . A legal agreement is in the best interest of both donor and repository.

After the donor has reviewed the draft DOG and any modifications have been agreed to (restrictions, access, materials to be donated, etc), the final document is signed and returned to the Archivist (this is generally sent ahead of time, but can in some cases be signed and dated at the time of transfer of the collection).

Finally, the collection being donated is physically transferred to Pingry. Transfers are generally done in person at The Pingry School, though materials can in some instances be delivered by mail if an in-person meeting is not possible.

4. Things to Consider if You are Donating


It may be possible for a donor to take a tax deduction for the donation of a collection to a repository. Speak with your tax accountant or attorney about this possibility. Archivists cannot give tax advice or appraise the monetary value of a collection.

Donations vs. Loans

Most archives can only invest materials and labor in the preservation of items that they own, and can't accept items on loan. However there are specific instances in which Pingry will accept loans, most notably with items to be featured in our Hall of Fame display cases.


Access to donated materials is governed by the repository’s policies regarding availability, duplication, and publication. As a prospective donor, you should become familiar with such policies and discuss any special needs or concerns with the archivist or curator before completing the deed of gift. Final description of the collection may not occur immediately and repositories vary in the speed with which description of the collection is posted online.

Restrictions on Use

If you are concerned that material considered confidential or private may be represented in your personal and family records, be prepared to discuss with the archivist the possibility of restricting part of the collection for a period of time.


Assignment of copyright is often complex and you should work with the repository staff to clarify issues of copyright ownership. Generally, copyright belongs to the creator of writings and other original material (such as photos and music) but can be legally transferred to heirs or others.

Credit: This work contains some material sourced from Donating Your Personal or Family Records to a Repository – Society of American Archivists

The Pingry School Archives Collections Policy

Updated 2017-10-10



The Pingry School Archives collects, preserves, describes, exhibits and makes available to faculty, staff, alumni, and students materials related to the history and activities of the Pingry School.

Scope of Materials

The following are materials collected and preserved by the Pingry School Archives:

  • Administrative records in any format of business conducted at the Pingry School.

  • Materials in any format concerning Pingry School affairs, including social events, news events, professional affairs and administrative activities.

  • Programs, announcements, and other documents pertaining to events held at the Pingry School, including concerts, plays, sporting events, alumni events, and special guest visitors.

  • Historical artifacts relating to the history of the Pingry School, including photographs, memorabilia, clothing, awards and trophies, and sports equipment

  • Original publications of the Pingry School, including yearbooks, newspapers, digests, and reviews.

  • Personal papers and effects and related materials concerning the Pingry School, including photographs, belonging to notable Pingry School alumni.

  • Original works created by Pingry School students, alumni, faculty, and staff including books, visual arts, and music.

  • Published works authored by Pingry School students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

  • Published biographies about Pingry School students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

The following are materials not collected by the Pingry School Archives:

  • Materials commonly found in other archives or libraries will not be accepted.

  • Photocopies of materials donated to another repository will not be accepted.

  • Materials irreparably damaged or infested by insects or mold will not be accepted.

  • Materials in which the donor's ownership is in question or is disputed will not be accepted.

  • Photographs or collections of photographs with little or no subject documentation will not be accepted.

  • Duplicate materials will not be accepted due to lack of space and may be subject to disposal.


For the purposes of this document, deaccession is the process of removing accessioned materials permanently from the Pingry School Archives through transfer, sale, exchange, return to donor, destruction, or other means. 

  • Criteria: In considering the deaccession of materials, a minimum of one of the following criteria must be met. The material or object: 

    • is outside the scope of the current collections policy.

    • is deteriorated beyond usefulness.

    • is redundant. 

    • has failed to retain its identity or authenticity, or has been lost or stolen and remains lost for longer than two years. 

    • cannot be preserved properly. 

    • has doubtful potential utilization in the foreseeable future.

  • Restrictions: In considering materials for deaccession, reasonable efforts must be made to ensure the Pingry School Archives is legally free to do so.

  • Procedure: The archivist may recommend deaccessioning material or an object if, in his/her best judgment, one or more criteria for deaccession have been met. The recommendation must be in writing to the Director of Operations. Such recommendations will specify the source and/or provenance of the material or object, the reasons for deaccessioning, the estimated market value, and the recommended means of disposal. The Director of Operations approval is required, in writing, for actual deaccession.  

  • Ethics of sale: Materials and objects shall not be given, sold, or otherwise transferred, publicly or privately, to Pingry School employees, officers, trustees, or their families or representatives. 

  • Proceeds. All proceeds resulting from the deaccession of objects form the permanent collections of the Pingry School Archives shall be delivered to the Business Office.

  • Public disclosures. All materials or objects subject to restrictions shall not be deaccessioned until after the staff has made an effort to: 

    • Comply with the restrictions.

    • Notify the donor, if alive, or his/her heirs or assigns, if the material or object was accessioned within 10 years. 

Gifts Policy

The Pingry School Archives accepts donations that fall within the scope of its collection policy. Any collection accepted requires organization and preservation, including both labor and costs, and donors are encouraged to include a monetary donation to fund the cost of processing and preserving their materials. All donations or gifts are subject to review by the Pingry School Archives and may be declined. Partial collections are discouraged but may be reviewed at the discretion of the Archives. The Pingry School Archives reserves the right to decline any collection in part or in full for the following reasons:

  • The inability of the Pingry School Archives to provide sufficient support to preserve and provide access to the collection.

  • The collection contains materials that do not fit within the scope of the Pingry School Archives, including any category from the above list of materials not collected.

  • The Pingry School Archives will not accept permanent loans of materials and will not assume liability for materials that are not owned by the Pingry School.

Once a donation is accepted, a deed of gift must be signed by the donor specifying the materials to be donated. This deed of gift transfers any rights the donor may have concerning ownership or copyright to the Pingry School Archives. Special conditions may be specified by the donor, but the Pingry School Archives may refuse any donation in which it deems the conditions of use are overly restrictive. A copy of this policy will be included in the Pingry School Archives deed of gift form.

Cooperative Collection Development Efforts

The Pingry School Archives will work with other institutions involved in similar efforts, as appropriate.