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A&SC Collections Policy information for Potential Donors


The Toronto Metropolitan University Library Archives and Special Collections (A&SC) has a mandate to acquire, preserve, and make accessible all non-circulating library collections materials that fall under the following categories: University Records (RG), Archival Fonds (F), Curated Collections (C), and Rare Books.

The A&SC acquires items and collections of enduring archival value that can be reasonably processed, preserved, and accessed, and whose rights are ethically and legally transferable.

The A&SC will preserve and provide access to all collected material according to the appropriate, current federal or provincial law (including intellectual property legislation and Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act), Toronto Metropolitan University’s Mandate, or the pertinent donation agreement.

The suitability of acquisitions to the A&SC are considered on a case-by-case basis by the Library Donations Committee.

Acquisition Methods

The A&SC accepts acquisitions of items and collections through the following methods:

  • Internal transfer: the Archives will accept transfer of University records according to the parameters described in the University Records (RG) acquisition criteria.
  • Donation: items and collections under consideration for donation to the A&SC must comply with the acquisition criteria of the relevant collection category and be subject to the terms of a Donation Agreement
  • Loan: all incoming loans, once approved by the loaning institutions, will be subject to the terms of the A&SC loan agreement
  • Purchase: records of exceptional value to the University may be purchased subject to approval and the availability of acquisition funds.

Donation Requirements

The A&SC, through the Library Director of Development, applies certain selection criteria to all donations offered for internal transfer, donation, loan, or purchase. These parameters are required to ensure that our collections remain consistent and strongly related to the University’s collecting and research interests, and that we are able to provide proper access and care for all materials that we acquire.

Requirements for all donations to A&SC include:

  • Collections and discrete items will not be accepted for donation unless they satisfy the acquisition criteria of at least one of the 4 collection categories in the A&SC repository: University Records (RG), Archival Fonds (F),  Curated Research collections (C), or the Rare Book collection
  • Donations must include clear legal title or ownership. Proof or declaration of ownership may be required.
  • Toronto Metropolitan University adheres to donation guidelines set by the Canadian Revenue Agency. For donations valued at less than $1,000, an internal expert may establish the fair market value.
  • For gifts-in-kind donations valued at more than $1,000, at least one independent external appraisal is required.
  • All donations will adhere to the University administrative policy on Coordination of Donation Appeals and Gift Acceptance Procedure.
  • Collections under consideration for donation should be accompanied by an itemized list of material on offer, including all identifying information. Advice on preparing an index can be obtained in advance from the A&SC department.
  • Duplicate items may not be accepted, even though they fit the collection mandate
  • Donations that include conditions such as display restrictions, prohibitive terms of use, or otherwise restrictive access stipulations may not be accepted, even though they fit the collection mandate.
  • The A&SC is unable to accept items that are in an advanced state of decay or disrepair.

Donation Process

  • If you have a potential donation that you feel fits our specific acquisition criteria for Archival Fonds (F), Curated Research Collections (C ), or the  Rare Books collection,  please contact the
  • If you represent a University records-generating body (President’s Office, Alumni Affairs, Departmental Offices etc.) and have a collection of internal records in your department that you have determined to be appropriate for internal transfer to the Toronto Metropolitan University Records Group (RG), please generate an inventory of the materials for consideration and contact Archives at:

Descriptions of the Four A&SC Collection Categories and their Acquisition Criteria

University Records (RG)

The University Records component of the A&SC repository serves as the institutional memory of the university’s community. The records found in this collection category are made accessible through the Archives reading room. The Archives acquires, preserves, and makes accessible a broad range of primary source materials and university records of enduring historical or permanent value, which are no longer actively required for ongoing administrative purposes.  Records in the (RG) collection category provide the administrative, academic, fiscal, legal, social, and cultural record of Toronto Metropolitan University and its antecedents. This includes those records created, received or maintained by: on-campus administrative and executive bodies, faculties and departments, student and university community groups, and third party entities commissioned by the University.

Acquisition Criteria for University Records (RG)

All (RG) records accepted for transfer must have completed the active and semi-active portion of their life-cycle, and must have been deemed to be permanent records suitable for archival donation according to the Toronto Metropolitan University Records Management policy. Internal transfers of acceptable materials can be arranged by contacting Archives staff and providing the relevant inventory of records on offer.  When preparing records for transfer, original records are preferred to copies wherever possible. For advice on records management best practices or for information on changes to the Records Management policy at TMU, please contact:

Archival Fonds (F)

The A&SC repository’s (F) group category is composed of a collection of fonds whose contents document a facet of the school’s history or support at least one of the key themes that represent Toronto Metropolitan’s strategic research strengths. This collection category includes the records of certain long-term faculty members, University administrators, and of groups or individuals affiliated with the university. Examples of (F) group collections in our repository include the Jack Layton Fonds, the Canadian Architect Magazine Fonds, and the Robert Hackborn Fonds.

Acquisition Criteria for Archival Fonds (F)

Potential donations to the (F) category of the A&SC repository must originate with a single corporate, community, or personal entity and be composed chiefly of primary source materials of enduring archival value related to the records creator’s involvement with and relation to the University or in support of at least one of Toronto Metropolitan University’s identified research themes.

Curated Research Collections (C)

The  A&SC repository’s (C) category is composed of discrete groupings of primary and secondary source materials of enduring research value that have been compiled and assembled from multiple sources around a subject specific research interest or material type. Examples of this type of collection in our holdings include the Heritage Camera Collection, The Photography and Film Technology Collection, and the Theatre Program Collection.

Acquisition Criteria For Curated Research Collections (C)

A&SC will consider items for donation to this category that add value and depth to one of our current (C) collections.  We will also consider the acquisition of new (C) collections that are composed of primary and secondary source materials of enduring research value that are related to at least one of Toronto Metropolitan University’s identified research themes.

Rare Book Collection

This category of materials consists chiefly of older editions of monographs, rare journals, fragile, scarce, and valuable books and printed materials not suitable for housing in the open stacks of the TMU Library. Items are listed in the library catalogue and can be accessed by appointment.

Acquisition Criteria For the Rare Books Collection

  • Date of publication: printed in Canada prior to 1914 or internationally prior to 1850.
  • Significant thematic collections of published material: extensive, curated collections with a specific focus related to a research strength at Toronto Metropolitan University.
  • High monetary value: single rare books that have a high fair market value will be considered for addition to the Rare Books collection.
  • Book items in a unique or particularly fragile format (e.g. artists’ books, pamphlet collections, limited editions, rare illustrated books and journals.)
  • We generally do not consider books for donation that are written in languages other than English or French that and that are not connected to a research strength or curriculum taught at Toronto Metropolitan University.