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Donating Photos to University Archives

University of Minnesota Extension retirees or staff members can submit collections of Extension-related photos directly to the University Archives. You can submit prints or scanned images.

About the Archives

In the 1920s, William Watts Folwell, first University president and librarian, began to collect University publications and faculty papers. In the 1940s, James Gray, author of the University's centennial history, discovered that no policy existed for collecting departmental records and successfully recommended the establishment of a formal archival program, with the University Libraries as its administrative home.

Today the University Archives includes over 15,000 linear feet of faculty papers, departmental records, University publications, reports, campus maps and blueprints, historical data, and much more. Over 20,000 cataloged photographs of University buildings, staff, students, classes, laboratories and events provide visual documentation of the University's history and the people who have contributed to it.

The Archives is open to the public. The collections are used by students, faculty, staff and an international community of scholarly researchers.

Find more information about the Archives.

How to Prepare Photos for Submission

For each photo, provide as much of the following information as you can. You can either list the information or write a caption.

  • location
  • person(s) or group name
  • approximate date
  • description of what is happening
  • identifiable landmarks

Include information about you as the contributor―name, contact information and relationship to Extension. For prints, write the information on a separate piece of paper or in pencil on back of photo.

For large collections, group photos by location, and then by date (if known). If neither of these is applicable, then group by themes.

Deed of Gift Form Required

A completed Deed of Gift form MUST accompany each donation (one form per person donating). The University Archives has designed a form just for Extension, provided on the Extension Centennial website. Print it out, fill it in, and either scan it or include it as part of your mailed donation. Do not alter this form in any way as it has been approved by the Office of General Counsel and any changes or additions will nullify the agreement.

Additional requirements for photos

  • Prints or high-quality scanned images only; photo copies not accepted
  • Size for prints—11" x 17" or smaller
  • Quality of scan—image scanned at minimum of 600 dpi
  • Moldy, torn or damaged items not accepted
  • Free of copyright issues

University Archives Policies

Prints will not be returned or loaned out to the donor. The Archives can make a scan of any photograph for a fee. They also retain the right to dispose of any unwanted items as they wish. For example, if someone sends a box of unidentified photographs, they will not keep them (nor return them).

How to Submit Photos

Email electronic files (photos, photo information and scanned Deed of Gift form 56 K PDF) to: Karen Spilman at

Or mail to: Karen Spilman, University Libraries, University of Minnesota Archives, 218 Elmer Anderson Library, 222 - 21st Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55455

See more information about materials accepted by the Archives.

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