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Appraisals for Donations of Archival Materials

Trent University Archives and Special Collections welcomes inquiries from all donors regarding potential donations of manuscripts and rare books. Please be advised that the following will not be accepted:

  • Gifts which have special conditions or restrictions
  • Materials not relevant to the Archives Mandate
  • Off-prints of articles

In General:

  1. Where possible donated materials should be organized and include a list of contents.
  2. All materials should be free of pests, mould and mildew.
  3. All donations must be submitted with a “Donor Agreement” form.
  4. If a tax appraisal is wanted, the donor must indicate this on the signed donation form at the time of submission.
  5. If the donor does not wish their name to be associated with the donated materials, they must indicate this at the time of submission.
  6. Only those materials deemed appropriate for the collections by the University Archivist will be accepted and retained. Duplicate and extraneous materials will not be retained.
  7. Materials not accepted will be returned to the donor, passed to a more suitable repository, or shredded after consultation with the donor.
  8. If the value of the material is deemed to be over $1,000, the donor will be asked to arrange and pay for an external arm’s-length appraisal.

Monetary Appraisal Guidelines:

  1. Appraisals will be conducted at arms-length from the donor and will be for the fair market value of the works according to the following definition: the price at which an object changes hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, acting independently of each other, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell, and both having reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts.
  2. In accordance with Revenue Canada regulations, an external appraiser approved by the University will appraise donations valued at more than $1000. This appraisal will be at the expense of the donor.
  3. Donations valued at under $1000 will be appraised by the Archivist.
  4. Donations that are considered to be of national or provincial importance may be eligible for Cultural Property certification. The Cultural Property Review Board requires two appraisals in this case, with such appraisals to be at the expense of the donor.
  5. Donors will receive a receipt to be used for income tax purposes under separate cover and issued by the Office of the Vice-President (Advancement).