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Quick Guide to transferring material to us

Please be aware that this is not a process which can be rushed, as it forms our legal title to holding the material and the basis on which we deal with it. The process may take up to half an hour depending on the size and complexity of the material donated or deposited.

Our full collecting policy can be found here: Collection Development Policy

  1. Let us know by telephone (01234-228833) or e-mail what you want to offer to us, providing a list of the material. We will then make an appointment. We can come and collect from you or you can bring the material in to us. 
  2. If you are depositing material on behalf of another body (such as a parish council or a company) we will need to be sure you have authority to do so; some identification should be provided and, if your name is not published as being an officer of the body concerned, a letter giving authority to make the deposit or donation.
  3. We will need to establish whether the material is deposited or donated.
  4. It is rare for us to keep everything we are offered. Archives will often include material of little or no value (think of acknowledgement slips in correspondence for example, or most purely financial material once it has been audited). We generally assess material and select items we do not need; you need to tell us whether to destroy them or return them to you.
  5. We need to know if any digital material is included (see what we do)
  6. We need to know if any material not relating to Bedfordshire is included and, if so, whether we have permission to forward to the appropriate county's archive service.
  7. Are you the copyright holder and if so are you prepared to assign copyright to us?
  8. Are there data protection issues? Do not worry if you are unsure as to what this means, we can make a detailed examination of the material and decide for ourselves. If there are issues will the data control responsibility be retained by your organisation or transferred to us? Again, we can discuss this.
  9. We will assign an accession number and a cataloguing reference to the material. The accession number is our key to all the conditions referred to above, which constitute the legality of our holding the material and what we do with it. The cataloguing reference is the reference by which the material will be known.
  10. Full terms and conditions for donations and deposits can be downloaded here: Terms of Donation (Gift)  and Terms of Deposit (Loan)