The Archives and Special Collections collect rare books related to a wide variety of areas, fields and disciplines. The rare book collection serves as a primary resource for teaching and research conducted by student, faculty and other researchers. Donations to this collection, or monetary donations for the purchase of rare books, help us to increase the breadth and depth of our collections and thus allows us to better support the curricular needs of the College.
The Archives and Special Collections main areas of collecting include: American history, illustrated editions of Dante Alighieri's Divina commedia, 19th century text books which are known to have been used in the courses of study at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, rare children's books, published works related the Collège de 'pataphysique, Renaissance Science books, and fine press books. Because our collections cover more than these main areas, gifts of books that fall outside of these areas will be considered on an individual basis. Both small, single volume, or larger, multi-volume, donations will be considered.
The first step in making a donation is to contact the Rare Books Librarian. In case of relatively local or large donations, the Archives Special Collections staff may wish to see them before they are physically transferred.
Donors may be able to take a tax deduction for the donation of rare books. Donors wishing to have more information on this matter should speak with either a tax consultant or an attorney. College policy prohibits the Archives and Special Collections from providing monetary valuations of collections. Donors wishing to hire an appraiser can contact the Archives and Special Collections for a list of for-hire appraisers.
The Archives and Special Collections is managed by professional archivists and librarians whose first priority is preservation of and access to rare and historic materials. The Archives and Special Collection staff arrange, describe and catalog collections to ensure ease of access by researchers.
Should a collection require repair or other conservation work the Archives and Special Collections will consult with professional conservators. All materials are stored in secure, climate-controlled areas. No primary source materials circulate and only Archives and Special Collections staff may retrieve materials for researchers.
In addition to accepting donations of rare books the Archives and Special Collections will also accept monetary donations toward the purchase of books, or the preservation of existing collections. All monetary donations are tax deductible.
For further information on donating rare books to the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections, please contact the Director at: