Donating Archival Materials
The Great American Songbook Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the first organization of its kind devoted solely to preserving popular American music. For that purpose, we seek materials that will aid in telling the story of the Great American Songbook and its related genres including:
- Personal papers, photographs, recordings, and research materials of individual performers, lyricists, and composers; as well as of scholars, journalists, and critics, who have written about the Great American Songbook.
- Personal papers, business records, photographs, and recordings of individuals involved in the business of the Great American Songbook, including stage, screen and recording managers, producers, executives, and disc jockeys.
- Archives of businesses and other organizations, including theaters, record labels, management agencies, booking agencies, radio stations, recording studios, and publishing and film production companies.
- Books published on topics relating to the Great American Songbook; reference works at the general and advanced research level; songbooks and sheet music for individual songs; and academic dissertations and theses.
- Musical instruments, awards, costumes, and other three-dimensional artifacts.
Please read through our Collections Development Policy for more information regarding collecting priorities.
PLEASE NOTE: We are not currently accepting LPs, CDs, DVDs, 78s, books, or sheet music unless they are part of a larger collection of personal papers or business records as listed above.
Before donating your collection, we strongly encourage you to have the items appraised by an appraiser who is qualified to “make appraisals of the type of property being valued.”
(Form 8283, p. 6) The IRS requires individuals to file Form 8283 if the amount of a deduction for all noncash gifts is more than $500. You can find an appraiser via the website of the American Society of Appraisers or by contacting a local historical society or museum. The Archives cannot give appraisals or estimate the monetary value of collections. Please note that we cannot provide a detailed inventory of a gift for tax purposes at a later date, unless we receive an itemized list at the time of donation.
Along with your donation of materials, we encourage you to consider making a monetary gift to offset the cost of processing the collection. The cost to process one box of paper materials averages $200. Your financial gift is also tax-deductible.
All collections of the Archives are intended to be permanent. The Archives accepts donations but cannot accept loaned material. Due to budgetary limitations, the Songbook Foundation cannot purchase collections.
If you have materials that you wish to donate to our Archives, please contact us for more information.
The Great American Songbook Foundation
One Center Green
Carmel, IN 46032