Donate to the LRC

The Library and Research Center welcomes donations of material that will enable us to further document notable women artists world-wide.

Besides secondary sources such as books, videos, and magazines, we are also interested in primary source material from notable women artists and women artist organizations. If you wish to donate to the library financially, please support us.

Gifts to the LRC are considered donations to be used in the best interest of the LRC. Donations become the sole and irrevocable property of NMWA Library and Research Center. NMWA cannot appraise materials.

Donating Books, Videos, Magazines, etc.

The Library and Research Center builds its collection in part by donations of material to the library. Items must fit within the Collection Development Policy of the LRC and gifts may be accepted in whole, part, or be declined based on availability of space and other considerations. The LRC does not keep multiple copies of titles or self-published books. Materials not added to the library may be offered up to other libraries for exchange, sold to benefit the library, or recycled and disposed of. The LRC is unable to return gifts or advise as to their ultimate disposition.

Books and other formats can be sent to:

Library and Research Center
1250 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

The LRC acknowledges all gifts, unless the donor requests no acknowledgement.

Donating Material to the Artist Files:
For artists already in our artist files: We accept updated resumes/CVs and artist statements, ephemera (exhibition material, such as postcards, brochures and catalogues), and up to: 20 photographs, 40 slides, and 4 CDs/DVDs. Each reproduction must contain title, date, and artist information. We do not accept duplicates, self-published publications, original artwork, photo negatives, or personal photographs except publication-worthy images of the artist or artwork. It is recommended that article clippings are placed on a CD and to include the bibliographic information on your resume/CV. Most clippings are weeded because of their highly acidic nature. The space limit for artists in our archives who have not exhibited at NMWA is half an inch (not including exhibition catalogues). We will weed any material considered unsuitable for the artist files or that which exceeds space limits. Generally, we do not provide acknowledgements of receipt for updates unless specifically requested. All material is considered the property of the Library and Research Center.

For artists not in our artist files: We create new files only for women artists who have exhibited at NMWA or are in NMWA’s permanent collection. If this is the case and we do not have a file on you, please contact the LRC.

Donating Archival Material and Personal Papers: The Library and Research Center depends on the generosity of donors to preserve the history of notable women artists for future scholars. In addition to ensuring their access to future generations, all historical materials donated to the LRC are kept in secure, climate-controlled storage, and placed in acid-free folders and containers in order to preserve them from future deterioration due to the damaging effects of light and heat.

In order to accept archival material into the Archives on Women Artists, it is required that the artist has work in the permanent collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts or has been included in an exhibition at the museum. Not all donations can be accepted due to space and will be assessed based on the impact the artist/organization has made to art history, NMWA, and/or  to the cause of women in the arts. If you are interested in donating an archival collection,  please contact the LRC.

Types of frequently donated materials:

  • letters
  • diaries
  • speeches/lectures
  • memoirs
  • scrapbooks/photo albums
  • sketchbooks
  • Artist’s working tools
  • business records
  • pamphlets, brochures and flyers
  • press releases
  • memos
  • audio/video recordings
  • programs
  • reproductions of work

For detailed guides on donating your personal papers or organizational records to a repository, please take a look at the following websites produced by the Society of American Archivists:

Donations and Transfer of Ownership

If all parties agree that the National Museum of Women in the Arts is the appropriate repository for a donation, the Director of the Library and Research Center will work with the donor to arrange the physical transfer of the material. An instrument of donation outlining the terms and conditions of the donation will be sent to the donor for approval and signature, along with a letter acknowledging the gift.

No individual or institution can predict or govern the changing attitudes of future generations, nor guarantee permanency beyond the best available preservation procedures. The LRC reserves the right to re-evaluate and reappraise material in its holdings and deaccession them when appropriate. Deacessioned collections and items weeded from collections during processing, due to duplication, irrelevance, limited use, or deterioration, will be offered to the original donor or an agent of the donor if so requested at the time of the donation. If the donor wishes not to reclaim the material or cannot be located, the LRC reserves the right to offer the material to other depositories or discard the items.

The Library and Research Center cannot appraise donations for tax purposes. For the protection of the donor, it is recommended that such appraisals be done by a disinterested third party and before title to the material is conveyed to the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Unless otherwise restricted by copyright or by the donor and agreed to by the National Museum of Women in the Arts, all rights are conveyed to the National Museum of Women in the Arts. All donor access and use restrictions and conditions will be specified in the donation agreement. The National Museum of Women in the Arts will assume no responsibility for abuse of copyright restrictions by users of research materials.

Please contact us for more information.