Giving to the Archives

Provided below is information about the types of records the Center for Archival Collections (CAC) wishes to acquire.  If you would like to make a financial gift, please visit our online giving page.

As stated in our Collection Development Policy, the CAC seeks to acquire materials within a defined subject scope that includes the history of Bowling Green State University, the Northwest Ohio region, the U. S. Great Lakes region and connecting waterways, student affairs and higher education professional organizations, and select topics within the history of literature, printing, and the materiality and construction of the book.  Within its collecting scope, the CAC acquires materials across a range of material types in physical and digital formats, including, but not limited to, unpublished documents and manuscripts, photographs, rare books, publications, newspapers, ephemera, and audio and video recordings.

Fundamentally, the CAC seeks to acquire primary source materials that fall within its topical collecting scope, that are deemed to be of enduring historical value, and that support the teaching, learning, research, and service goals of BGSU.  Additional details regarding the types of materials sought by each CAC collection can be found below.

The main purpose of the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes (HCGL) is to collect, preserve, and make available historical materials documenting the U. S. Great Lakes region and connecting waterways. The collection focuses on 1812 to the present with the bulk of the collection documenting the years from 1860 to the present. The HCGL seeks materials related to commercial shipping, shipbuilding, navigation, maritime law, commercial fishing, shipwrecks, yachting, labor history, popular literature, freshwater ecology, maritime culture, and history of the Great Lakes ports. Types of materials collected include manuscripts, newspaper clippings, photographs, maps, vessel data sheets, maritime architectural drawings, and published materials.  Contact the HCGL Archivist to inquire about potential donations.

The National Student Affairs Archive (NSAA) is dedicated to records of student affairs and higher education professional organizations.  The CAC established the NSAA in 1982 and since that time the NSAA has developed into a major repository for the historical records of national, regional, and state (Ohio/Michigan) student affairs and higher education professional organizations.  Additional materials include the private collections of individuals who have been active in the field, and relevant books and pamphlets.  While NSAA acquisition decisions are not based on a specific time period, current materials in this division date from 1903 to the present day. Prospective donors are encouraged to view the NSAA brochure for more information.

This collection looks to acquire for permanent preservation books, newspapers, and non-published documentary materials relating to the 19 county region of northwest Ohio.   We are interested particularly in obtaining newspapers, letters, diaries, organizational or business records, photographs, maps, and rare books. Special emphases include Civil War, women, education, religion, agriculture, and labor.   Contact the Curator of Manuscripts to inquire about potential donations.

The Rare Books and Special Collections collects, preserves, and makes accessible to researchers primary, rare, or unique materials that support the research and curriculum needs of the BGSU community and scholars.  Current collection focuses include American poetry from the mid-20th century to the present day, publications produced by the Beat Generation, notable graduates of the BGSU Creative Writing Program, poetry by Northwestern Ohio authors, and Midwestern authors from the late 19th century through present day. Contemporary artists’ books are acquired to expand the current artists’ books collection. Primary and secondary resources supporting the history of print and the materiality and construction of the book in the Western world provide crucial support for inquiry into the collection; emphasis on acquisition of these materials is placed on exceptional pieces including notable examples of book binding, book production, or book decoration from the 19th century to present day.  Finally, to grow the William F. Nolan/Ray Bradbury Collection, literary manuscripts related to Ray Bradbury and first or notable editions of his works are collected.

The collection has been historically strong in early imprints, small and private press books, and first editions of notable literature from the 18th-20th centuries. These strengths are still maintained and supported for teaching and research, but acquisition is now focused in different directions.  

Contact the Rare Books and Special Collections Librarian to inquire about potential donations

The primary purpose of the University Archives is to preserve and provide open access to University records that document the history of BGSU from its founding in 1910 to the present day.  These records include those dealing with administrative, business, academic, and athletic matters; faculty and student organizations; university publications, including the BG News and the Key Yearbook; and photographs.  Learn more about donating records to the University Archives.

For any additional questions about donating to any of our collecting areas, please contact

Michelle Sweetser
Head Librarian and University Archivist
Center for Archival Collections
Jerome Library, 5th Floor
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, OH 43403