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Donating Manuscripts

The Indiana State Library Rare Books and Manuscripts collection has been built with generous donations since 1825. Among the collection’s strengths are Civil War-era letters and diaries, family papers and the records of many political figures from the Hoosier state. We continue to actively collect material related to Indiana’s people, places, and events that reflect a significant impact on Indiana history and would be useful to researchers. We primarily accept original documents, including letters, diaries, speeches, photograph albums, scrapbooks, loose photographs, memoirs or reminiscences and organizational records. We do not collect material focusing on non-Indiana events, except those dealing primarily with a Hoosier’s experience as part of the event. Items may not be accepted due to condition, duplication in holdings, similar collections at other institutions that might be more appropriate, or due to capacity.

Contact Us

Please contact Rare Books and Manuscripts at or 317-232-3671 if you wish to donate to the collection. We ask that you provide a detailed description of the material, its quantity, and your primary contact information. The Indiana State Library’s deed of gift form should be completed prior to donating material. A deed of gift is the formal and legal agreement between the donor and repository transferring ownership of and legal rights to the material.


In certain circumstances, donations may qualify as tax-deductible. The Indiana State Library cannot provide tax advice, monetary appraisals, assessments or recommend individual appraisers. Please contact a tax accountant, attorney, or certified appraiser prior to donating to Rare Books and Manuscripts. The American Society of Appraisers and the Appraisers Association of America provide certified appraiser information throughout the United States.

Monetary Donations

To further support Rare Books and Manuscripts, please visit the Indiana State Library Foundation website for more information.

Want to learn more? View our frequently asked questions.

MA BF 10-5-2023