Collection Development

Special Collections

Watercolor rendering of Seidman House

Materials in Special Collections help support the university curricula and research interests of faculty, staff, and students, as well as those outside the university. The rare books, manuscripts, documents, and artwork collected supplement and enhance resources available in GVSU Libraries. The collections are international in scope with particular focus on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War; Michigan in the novel; regional literature, history and culture; and history of the book and printing arts.

University Archives

Aerial view of Grand Valley campus, circa 1970

The Grand Valley State University Archives is the repository for official and ancillary records created by the University's administration, academic departments, faculty, students, and campus organizations. The Archives collects records that document and support the University's mission to contribute to the enrichment of society through excellent teaching, active scholarship, and public service. It exists to help meet the University's legal responsibility to preserve and make available its records and to assist the University community to document its actions and decisions.

Selection, Appraisal, and Donations

Materials acquired through purchase, transfer, or donation are evaluated by an archivist or curator prior to their accession. The informational contents, condition, format, completeness, and research value of materials are carefully considered, with particular attention to how the materials fit into the scope of our collections.

Occasionally, donors or other community members may request a monetary appraisal of materials by which the repository might benefit. Special Collections & University Libraries' staff is prohibited from offering a monetary appraisal, but may refer the requester to a list of nearby appraisers who will perform that service for a fee. 

If you have materials that you would like to donate to Special Collections & University Archives, or questions about the donation process, please contact us. A Special Collections & University Archives director or archivist will review the contents and condition of the materials before accepting the donation. Donors must sign a Deed of Gift transferring ownership of the materials to the university.