Get Involved - Austin History Center

AHC Volunteer

An AHC volunteer

Get Involved

The AHC appreciates and welcomes donations of historical items, volunteer time, and funds.  We also welcome you to consider joining the Austin History Center Association, an independent non-profit organization that supports AHC programs and projects.  Get to know us better at an upcoming event, or 'like' our Facebook page for photos, trivia and contests!


We are also very appreciative of those who volunteer their time and talents to the Austin History Center. For those who choose to contribute to the community by being one of our volunteers, we offer a variety of volunteer positions. Our volunteers do preservation photocopying, data entry, phase box construction, oral history transcription, arranging and describing manuscript collections, map encapsulation, and processing materials to add to the Austin Files, to name just a few tasks.

We will work with you to find a volunteer position that would suit your interests and talents. To volunteer, please visit the Austin Public Library's Volunteer Program page.

Donate Items

The vast majority of the collections at the Austin History Center have been donated by many generous individuals and organizations throughout our community. We greatly appreciate such generosity and continue to rely heavily on this support in order to continue building collections for future generations.

If you are interested in making a donation, we require that you fill out and sign a Deed of Gift form. This document formally establishes the transfer of ownership of materials to the AHC. Please fill out as much information as you can including copyright information located on the back of this form. Having the completed form ready when you bring your donation in helps augment the donation process.

Here are some general guidelines for the types of items we collect and for those we do not, either because they fall outside of our collection development policy or due to staffing and space limitations. If you have items that are not included in the list below, please contact us at 512-974-7480 before throwing anything out. We welcome the opportunity to discuss and review your material. If the items in question are not suitable for our collection, we can assist you in finding a more appropriate place for them.

Items of interest

Personal Papers:

  • Family letters
  • Diaries or journals
  • Scrapbook materials, such as programs, invitations, other documentary mementos, obituaries, newspaper clippings
  • Recorded or written oral history interviews or memoirs
  • Legal records, such as wills, estate materials, deeds, court records, contracts
  • Photographs and photo albums
  • Motion picture film

Organizational Records:

  • Charters, membership lists, minutes, yearbooks, programs, press releases
  • Correspondence
  • Newsletters, brochures

Business Records:

  • Correspondence
  • Financial records, such as ledgers, record books, inventories, annual reports
  • Legal records, such as contracts, deeds, court records
  • Ephemera, such as flyers, calendars, schedules, posters, menus
  • Photographs or photo albums

Printed Materials:

  • Newspaper clippings
  • Books
  • Pamphlets
  • Posters
  • Broadsides
  • Maps

Audiovisual materials:

  • Music on disc, cassette tape, vinyl
  • Oral history interviews
  • Video

Artistic materials:

  • Posters
  • Drawings
  • Photographs

Items not suitable for donation:

  • Information not specific to Austin/Travis County
  • Blank forms
  • Duplicates or multiple copies
  • Family Bibles
  • Artifacts - clothing, textiles, statues, models, jewelry and other three-dimensional objects
  • Certain financial records, such as canceled checks and receipts
  • Old newspapers
  • Computer manuals
  • Materials in poor condition, including defaced text or items that show evidence of mold, mildew, pests, significant embrittlement, or disrepair.
  • Mailers, flyers, invitations, announcements and other advertisements that lack any substantive information about an organization, event or individual(s). In other words, we do not accept items that only list names, times, dates, locations or prices.

Please note that although the AHC reserves the right to decline items that are in very poor or fragile condition, we are more than happy to accept such materials if they have been transferred onto an appropriate archival medium such as acid-free paper or digitized and saved to CD or DVD.

We also ask that you provide appropriate contextual information for the items you are donating in either a list form or printed legibly somewhere on each item including pertinent names (individuals, places, events) dates and titles. Providing contextual information not only saves staff valuable time but also insures that your donation has maximum research value to our customers.


Support the Austin History Center

The Austin History Center is fortunate to have an engaged support organization, the Austin History Center Association.  The Austin History Center Association is an independent non-profit organization that helps to promote awareness and use of the Austin History Center through receptions, programs, the annual Angelina Eberly luncheon, tours, newsletters, and the publications of Waterloo Press.  When possible, the Association raises funds for the Austin History Center to contribute to special acquisitions and endeavors.  For information about membership and activities, please see the Association's website.

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