FAQs for current and retired faculty

1. What material is considered to be “private papers”?

Private papers are considered to be papers in the possession of and being maintained by individual faculty members. Examples of private papers are listed below:

  • teaching materials including lecture notes, course syllabi, assignments, lab manuals for courses etc.
  • research materials including notes etc.
  • photographs of the faculty member, research colleagues/staff, laboratories and equipment
  • drafts of published and unpublished articles, books, reports and other scholarly works
  • oral history interviews
  • biographical information including curriculum vitae
  • diaries/journals
  • correspondence with colleagues and students
  • correspondence and other documents relating to professional or personal activities
2. Will the University Archives accept copies of my published books and offprints?

No, the University Archives accepts only original archival documents. Copies of books in your private library may be donated to University of Toronto Libraries. For more information please contact the Library’s Gift Office.

3. If I choose to donate my papers can I limit access to them?

Every private donor has the right to impose reasonable restrictions on his/her papers to protect confidentiality as determined through mutual agreement between the University and the donor. The specific restrictions are determined at the time of donation, are for a fixed term and are specified in a formal Deed of Gift.

4. Can I borrow the records after I donate the papers?

No. Once the Deed of Gift is signed, the records become the property of the University of Toronto Archives. Photocopies of selected records may be provided free of charge on a one time only basis.

5. Can I weed the papers after I have donated them to the University Archives (eg. after I have signed the Deed of Gift?)

Once the Deed of Gift is signed the material becomes the property of the University Archives and therefore no weeding can be done by the faculty member.

6. Can I add to the papers after I have donated them to the Archives and I have signed the Deed of Gift?

Yes. Additional material can be added but it will be treated as a separate donation.

7. Can I receive a tax receipt for my donation?

Yes. All gifts are evaluated by external appraisers for the fair market value. Completion of a Deed of Gift is required. A tax receipt for the year in which the gift is made will be issued by the University of Toronto.

8. How long will it take to receive my tax receipt?

Every attempt is made to issue a tax receipt for the fair market value of the Gift in Kind in time to file for the tax year in which the gift was made. For example for a Deed of Gift signed in June, 2005, the donor should receive a tax receipt from the University by March of the following year. In order to do so, a Deed of Gift must be signed by September 1 of the year in which the gift is made. Gifts in kind that are to be certified under the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board (CCPERB) may take up to 2 years from the date of the Deed of Gift.

9. Do I have to pay for the appraisal?

Currently, the University of Toronto Library pays for the appraisal. In exceptional cases, the University of Toronto Library may partner with the donor to cover the cost of the appraisal.

10. Will material that is weeded by staff of the University Archives be returned to me?

The fate of weeded material is specified in the Deed of Gift. It can be returned to you or it can be destroyed.

11. If my papers are being donated should I “reorganize” them ahead of time?

If you wish to organize your papers please discuss this with an archivist at the University Archives before undertaking any work. Archives staff are trained in archival practices and principles to ensure that the integrity, and original order of your private records are preserved.

12. What criteria are used to determine what will be accepted as a donation?

The following general criteria are to be used to determine if a faculty member's papers will be accepted into the Archives, although each donation is considered on a case-by-case basis.

  • faculty member's academic reputation and output as a scholar
  • faculty member's involvement in departmental and/or university affairs
  • extent to which the faculty member's papers enhance the documentation of university history by complementing existing holdings or filling gaps
  • faculty member's involvement in organizations and institutions related to his/her academic discipline
  • physical condition and completeness of the original material