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Donating Materials

Donating Materials

Donate your materials

We consider all donations seriously and will address any questions, needs, and concerns that relate to preserving history materials.

Contact Greg Williams, Director of the Gerth Archives
(310) 243-3013

Collection Development Policies

The main responsibility of the Gerth Archives and Special Collections Department in the University Library is to serve the research needs of California State University Dominguez Hills students, faculty and community. The Archives seeks to collect in subject areas receiving substantial and sustained attention within the University community. In addition, the Archives also collects material across a wide range of academic disciplines. As such the Archives and Special Collection Department collects correspondence, photographs, pamphlets, digital materials, organizational archives and other material that documents vital and unique personal, business, or organizational history to support academic programs at CSUDH. The Archives also collects materials for the CSU Dominguez Hills Archives, the California State University System wide Archives, rare or special collections publications and born digital materials.

Areas of Collection

CSUDH is located in the center of one of the most diverse areas in the nation. The Archives and Special Collections Department collects materials related to the South Bay of Los Angeles, the Dominguez Family, Compton, Long Beach, and Los Angeles. Materials related to other topics of national and international interest, include politics and activist movements, materials focusing on African Americans, Latinx peoples, Japanese Americans, Filipinos, tradeswomen, labor movements, activism of all sorts, conflict resolution and other items that add to our knowledge about diverse populations, will also be considered for addition to the archives. Collection materials have been chosen in consultation with faculty and others in response to various opportunities. By inquiring of individuals, organizations (clubs and other civic groups or what is left of those organizations in a garage or other storage), the Gerth Archives focuses on gathering material that will inspire students and intrigue scholars. Additionally, our collecting areas include the history of CSUDH, the CSU and rare books.

You can read the full scope of our collecting areas here

Collecting Priorities

Collecting priorities at CSUDH start with a consciousness of archival silences, a focus on what or who has not been collected previously. In acquiring archival collections through donation or purchase, the Gerth Archives focuses on the need for a more complete historical documentation. Traditionally archives have given voice to dominant political parties, ethnicities, and economic authorities. The Gerth Archives attempts to reduce these gaps in the historical record by generating documentation from underrepresented communities, organizations and individuals. The Archives also works with organizations seeking to secure the preservation of their own records.

The collecting scope of the Gerth Archives and Special Collections covers a variety of materials that fit into the thematic and subject areas important to the Archives, the University and its students. Generally, materials should be unique, rare, and historically relevant to the CSUDH community of scholars and have enduring value. Less than rare material is also accepted when it can assist our students in the use of primary sources.

Donating to the Archives

The Gerth Archives relies on donors for generous contributions of photographs, artifacts, manuscripts, archival papers, rare books, and funds to help support and advance its mission to offer valuable materials to students and scholars. Donors often also make a financial contribution that assists the Department in processing the donations. Emeriti and current faculty members, members of the university community and alumni provide assistance in identifying potential donors.

Donation Protocol

The library requires a deed of gift agreement for the transfer of materials. Loans of materials are generally not accepted, but in special circumstances materials may be accepted on deposit, pending transfer of ownership to the library. Deposited materials receive the environmental and security protections accorded to all Gerth Archives collections, but may receive a minimal level of processing. The library will accept no collections permanently closed to users. The Gerth Archives encourages donations without restrictions, but will accept collections carrying user restrictions of a reasonable time.

For more information see The Society of American Archivists' Guide to Donating Your Papers.

Procedures for CSUDH Administrative Units transferring inactive records

Gerth Archives staff is happy to assist you with any records transfer questions. When making arrangements to transfer inactive records of long-term historical, evidential, legal, fiscal and administrative value to the University Archives, you should:

  1. Appraise your inactive records for historical materials
  2. Remove the materials in the same order as filed.
  3. Create a box by box inventory of materials being sent.
  4. Call archives 310-243-3895 to coordinate shipment.
  5. Fill out the appropriate form and return it with the records to the University Archives.

After sending your materials to the Gerth Archives, archives personnel will check the contents against your existing inventory list for accuracy. All files will be removed to acid-free folders and boxes. A guide to the collection (a finding aid) will be created and made available. Please note that the Gerth Archives publicizes its resources to encourage use by members of the institution and the scholarly community to support the curriculum, stimulate teaching, and promote research, scholarship and intellectual exploration.

Access to your materials

The Gerth Archives is maintained in closed, restricted areas. Materials are retrieved for patrons by the University Archives staff. Records may be duplicated if needed by the originating office, organization or individual, or if written approval has been obtained from the originating source.