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


Newsletters, brochures


Business Records:


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







Audiovisual materials:

Music on disc, cassette tape, vinyl

Oral history interviews



Artistic materials:





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 ensures that your donation has maximum research value to our customers.