Donating Materials

Collection Policy

The University Archives (UArchives) collects the records of University departments and offices that are of enduring, permanent, and historical value once they are past the period of active use.  Transfer of such records from offices and departments of the University to the UArchives is considered permanent. When files and office materials are transferred to the UArchives, they become part of Columbia University Library’s special collections and can be made available to staff and patrons only in the reading rooms of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library. These records are also subject to the same terms and conditions of use and reproduction as other items that form part of the Library’s special collections. 

The UArchives does not accept any University records that are still in use.  Offices and departments are advised to ensure that they have no current or frequent need for any records intended for transfer to the UArchives.  Records sent to the UArchives that are not subsequently determined to be of enduring and historical value will not be retained and will be returned only upon request.

General Categories of University Documentation

  • Administration
    • Board of Trustees
    • Office of the President
    • Office of the Provost
    • Office of the Secretary
    • Office of the General Counsel
    • Office of the Treasurer/Finance
  • University Senate
  • Faculty and Faculty Organizations
  • Academic Departments and Programs
  • Schools
  • Institutes and Centers
  • Buildings and Grounds (Facilities)
  • Libraries
  • Alumni and Development Offices
  • Committees
    • University-wide committees
    • School-wide committees
  • Students
    • Organizations
    • Student life
  • University-wide events
  • Awards, honors, and prizes


To help you decide which records to keep, we have compiled information in a document entitled Guidelines for the Management of Your Records.

Transferring Records

The UArchives has a simple process for the transfer and accession of your records.  Before filling out this Records Transmittal Form and transferring your material, always contact the UArchives first.

Donations from Alumni & Friends of Columbia University

The UArchives welcomes donations of Columbia-related materials from alumni and friends of Columbia University but considers such donations on a case by case basis. If you have Columbia-related materials you wish to give to the UArchives, please contact us and provide us with as much detail as possible about the material that you wish to donate.