Special Collections Policy

The Polk County Public Library Special Collections welcomes inquiries about donations but, cannot accept everything. Prospective donors should NOT send the item(s), but instead, send gift offers identifying the item(s) to be donated.

Areas of collection:
Thermal Belt History and Culture
Columbus, Tryon, Mill Spring History
Local business and industry
Tryon Toymakers and Woodcarvers
Equestrian traditions of Polk County
Polk County architecture and structures
People of note associated with Polk County
Schools, institutions, churches, service clubs of Polk County
Polk County Veterans histories

Print, negatives, slides
Business records
Oral Histories and personal reminiscences
Other items on an individual basis will be considered based on appropriateness to the collection and our ability to properly store the item.

We do not collect artifacts, but we will be happy to direct you to a possible repository.


The deed of gift confirms a legal relationship between the donor and the Polk County Public Library repository that is based on trust and common understanding. This relationship ensures that the materials you have donated, which help illuminate the county’s past and its influence upon us and are preserved and made available to future generations.

(1) If you created and/or collected the materials you are donating, all that is needed in this section is your full legal name. If you are acting on behalf of someone else who created and/or collected the materials, include information on your relationship to that person or entity. You might note, for example, sister, niece, son, or business agent. If you are not the creator of the materials, the repository may ask you to explain how you have the authority to donate them. The repository will provide its full name as the recipient.

(2) As the professional staff of the repository reviews the materials you donated, there may be reason to reformat some or all of them. Long-term preservation of fragile materials, for instance, is a primary reason for microfilming, digitizing or copying papers, recordings and images for use by researchers. When you transfer legal ownership of your materials to the repository, you agree that the staff may make reformatting decisions. The repository representative will discuss with you the means by which your collection can be transported to the repository.

(3) When you sign the gift agreement, you transfer legal ownership of the actual materials you want to donate. Ownership of intellectual property rights (primarily copyright, but including trademarks and patent rights) may also be legally transferred by the deed of gift. Copyright generally belongs to the creator of writings or other original material (such as photographs and music). Donors are encouraged to transfer all rights they possess in and to the materials donated to the repository; this] assists researchers in their scholarship by making it easier to quote from documents. If you wish to retain all or a portion of the intellectual property rights you own, you may include such a provision in the deed of gift, but you and the representative should agree upon a date after which the rights will be transferred to the repository. You are not able to transfer ownership of rights to the works of others found in the materials you donate. These works might include such items as letters written to you by others.

(4) In the course of arranging and describing the materials you donate, the repository’s staff will retain substantive materials of permanent historic value and separate out those materials that are routine, duplicative, or outside the collecting scope of the repository. The repository needs guidance in dealing with these separated materials. You may choose to have the repository dispose of them in the manner they deem appropriate. This usually includes shredding or disposing of duplicates or materials of no historical significance, and transferring out-of-scope materials to another repository. You may, however, prefer to have the separations returned directly to you. You should discuss your options with the repository’s representative and arrive at an agreement that can be stated in the deed of gift.

(5) It is important to sign the deed of gift as soon as you and the representative have discussed and agreed upon its provisions. We are not able to accept a collection without a signed deed of gift. If you have any questions or concerns about what is or is not included in the deed of gift, it is important that you raise these with the repository representative prior to signing the agreement. Although it is possible that we may not be
able to accommodate a specific request, it is best to ensure that all relevant issues are discussed.

Special Collection Statement of Gift Form|| Special Collection Appraisal Questions

Policy approved by Library Board of Trustees, July 20, 2006
Liz Malloy, Chairperson

    • Main Library
      1289 West Mills Street
      Columbus, NC 28722
      Tel. (828) 894-8721
      Fax (828) 894-2761
      Mon. 9am – 6pm
      Tue.-Thurs. 9am – 8pm
      Fri. 9am – 6pm
      Sat. 9am – 4pm

      Saluda Community Library
      44 W. Main Street
      Saluda, NC 28773
      Tel. (828) 749-2117
      Mon.-Fri. 9am – 6pm
      Sat. 9am – 1pm

      (828) 894-8721 ext. 225