Gifts and Donations

Graduate Theological Union's Special Collections offer unique resources for students, scholars and visitors. We welcome collections, objects, and books that enhance our areas of study.  Along with grants, we are seeking donations and endowment funds to help support the preservation and digitization of our collections.

Archives and Special Collections

The GTU Archives and Special Collections seek significant materials in our areas of specialty:

  • history of religion in the Western states and more particularly in California
  • ecumenical or inter-religious activity
  • religious and ethnic plurality
  • women in religion
  • gays/lesbians in religion
  • new religious movements

Following standard archival practice, the donor is encouraged to contribute a donation with the collection. These funds help defray the cost of preserving and making the collection accessible.

Deed of Gift

The transfer of materials is made through a Deed of Gift. This is a legal document transferring ownership of the collection and materials from the donor to the Graduate Theological Union. 

Due to confidentiality and privacy concerns, the donor may decide to restrict access to certain materials in the collection. Such restrictions are for a specific period of time and noted in the Deed of Gift. 

The donor also should decide whether to keep or transfer any intellectual property rights or copyright of the materials to GTU or another organization.  Without this, researchers will be required to locate the donor or a descendant in order to obtain permission to use or publish.

These are among the main points to consider.  Please contact Archives at 510/649-2523 or by email ( for additional information.

Rare Books

Special Collections seeks rare books about religion and theology. The library often receives gift books that are added to the collection. Books that do not meet collection requirements will either be returned to the donor or set aside for our annual book sale.

Determining the value of the book or collection for income tax purposes requires an outside appraiser. Special Collection staff does not appraise books or manuscript collections.

Prior to donating a collection of books or a rare book, please contact our staff at 510/649-2509.


GTU Special Collections seek donations and endowment funds to support its work.  Patrons may provide general operating funds or endow a specific collection or a position. General support pays for the conservation and processing of collections. The endowment can be designated to enhance a specific collection area or support a position within the department. Each endowed fund will be named and noted on all communications.

If you are interested in making such a contribution, please contact the library director's office at 510/649-2541.