ECASC accepts donations of historical materials from the public and Emerson community as well as transfers of College records from internal departments and affiliated organizations. Please read the sections below to learn more about our policies and procedures for accepting new materials.

Donation of Special Collections

ECASC accepts donations of materials from non-affiliated individuals and groups that focus on the history of the College and/or subjects pertinent to its curricula. Examples of these subjects include comedy; film, television, and radio; journalism; performing arts; and theatre. We accept both physical and digital records as well as objects.

Individuals looking to donate materials to the archives should contact us at archives [at] (archives[at]emerson[dot]edu) or 617-824-8301. We will work with potential donors to determine what materials should be preserved at ECASC. Although not required, it is helpful if donors can supply lists of items being offered so that staff members have a clearer idea of the contents of the collection.

Once we have determined which materials will be preserved at ECASC, donors must sign a Deed of Gift agreement which allows us to formally accept materials into our collections. We can then work with donors to determine the best way to physically and/or digitally transfer materials to ECASC. Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Archives staff cannot visit donor residences and visitors are not permitted on campus.

Part of the value in using primary resources for research is the way in which they are organized, so we encourage donors to contact ECASC before removing or rearranging items within their collection.

Transferring Institutional Records

ECASC preserves institutional records created by College staff, faculty, students, and affiliated organizations that have been determined to be of permanent value. Anyone looking to determine how long their records should be kept and the appropriate manner of disposal should consult our Records Retention and Disposition Schedules and/or contact the records management team at records_management [at] (records_management[at]emerson[dot]edu). Records identified as being permanent can be transferred to the archives by following our records transfer instructions.

To learn more about our records management program please view our records management web pages.


The Emerson College Archives & Special Collections collects the permanent records created by the institution (Emerson College). Before transferring paper records to the Archives, please follow the directions below. 

Step 1: Determine if your records are permanent

The Emerson College Archives only accepts permanent records, as identified in the Records Retention & Disposition Schedule with a disposition of "Transfer to Archives." Do not send duplicate records, or records for which your department is not the official record holder. Do not send active records your department still regularly references. 

Step 2: Prepare records for transfer

  1. Remove all hanging file folders. If items are loose in a hanging file folder, place them into a regular office file and transfer the name from the hanging file to the new file using pencil. Please print legibly. 
  2. Any loose papers must be placed in a folder and labeled. 
  3. Fill boxes front to back with your folders. Do not stack folders horizontally. It is important that you keep the folders in the order in which your office created or used them. Do not over-pack the box - the lid must lie flat. 
  4. Label and number the boxes consecutively using a pencil (e.g. Department Name, Date range, Box 1 of 7). Do not use pen/permanent marker or put labels on the boxes. You may use post-it notes. 
  5. Do not tape the box shut. 

Step 3: Fill out the Transfer Form

Fill out the Archival Records Transfer Form, which must include a list of the materials being sent to the College Archives. Include each folder title and the box it is located in, the date range of the materials in each box, and the department/individual who created or used the records. Please do not create a new form for each box - one form per transfer. archives [at] (subject: Archival%20Records%20Transfer%20Form) (Email this form to archives[at]emerson[dot]edu) and keep a copy for your records. Wait for acknowledgement from the College Archives before completing step 4. 

Step 4: Deliver records to the College Archives

Place a work order with facilities to have the boxes delivered to Walker 223. The Archives staff is not able to pick up materials from departmental offices. Please notify the College Archives when a delivery is expected by archives [at] (subject: Delivery%20of%20Permanent%20Records) (emailing archives[at]emerson[dot]edu).