shelving with artifacts in nabb center

Material Donations

We rely on the public for donations of material culture items for our local history archives and exhibits. Donations can consist of a single item or multiple boxes of materials. Items have often been passed down through a family and the current owner wants to ensure the preservation of those items for future generations. Some donors have acquired items in an auction or elsewhere and, recognizing their educational and historical values, decide to donate them to our archives. Be sure to contact us if you have materials that you think might be of interest. Any information that can be supplied regarding the provenance of the items, including photograph identification, family information, dates, etc., will be welcome.

Donors will be asked to complete a Deed of Gift form, transferring ownership of the property.

Professional standards and IRS regulations prohibit the Nabb Research Center from determining a monetary appraisal of a gift. If a monetary value is determined by the donor, a Gift-in-Kind form should be completed to create a record of the charitable donation for tax purposes. No member of the Center staff or Board of Directors may appraise an item as to its monetary value. The Nabb Research Center will not pay an outside appraiser to establish a value on any item.

The collection development policy of the Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture is based upon its mission to cultivate and sustain the advancement of scholarly research through collecting, preserving, disseminating and providing access to records and artifacts which illustrate the rich historical and cultural heritage of the greater Chesapeake (Delmarva) region.


The Center accepts gift materials, which make up the majority of its collections. The Center may refuse all or parts of donations that fall outside the scope of the collections. The Center will not accept a gift that limits use of the item(s), its right to display or not display the item in any way, or its prerogative to reorganize collections. The Center formally acknowledges donations through a Deed of Gift. Such gifts are donations to the Salisbury University Foundation, Inc., which owns all collections.

Material acquisition is a continuing process of assessing and weighing the focus and research value of materials, both those already within the collections and those being considered. Items considered for acquisition shall also be evaluated in terms of their scholarly or historical value and the costs of conservation.

Gifts of published materials that fall outside the scope of the Center’s collections may be offered to SU Libraries or sold by the Center. The Center may also accept materials that, while not within its formal scope, would be lost to posterity if the Center did not accept them. This “rescue accessioning” is dealt with on a case-by-case basis, with the tacit understanding that the material may be de-accessioned and transferred to another historical institution, when appropriate.

For more information about donating archival materials or artifacts, follow this link to Donating Your Personal or Family Records to a Repository published by the Society of American Archivists.

For questions about donating materials to the Nabb Research Center, please contact us at 410-543-6312 or by email at