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Special Collections

Donating Materials

Special Collections

The Detroit Public Library accepts donations of materials to its five Special Collections:  The Burton Historical Collection (BHC) of local history and genealogy; E. Azalia Hackley Collection of African Americans in the performing arts; Rare Book Collection; Ernie Harwell Sports Collection; and the National Automotive History Collection (NAHC).  The staff of the Special Collections considers carefully all proposed donations to ensure the materials fall within the scope of the particular collection.


The Library’s gift receipt form and gift policy can be found below.   All donors must sign the gift receipt which transfers rights for the donated materials to the Detroit Public Library.  The Library will care for and make available to researchers all materials according to professional archival standards.  If you wish to discuss a possible donation, you may call (313) 481-1401 or email  For donations to the NAHC, please call (313) 481-1862 or email   

Transfer of Material

Please call or email, in advance, to inform us of the type and amount of material you are sending or dropping off.  Donations to any of the Special Collections, except the NAHC, may be addressed to:

Burton Historical Collection
Detroit Public Library
5201 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI  48202

Please address donations for the NAHC to:

National Automotive History Collection
Skillman Branch Library
121 Gratiot
Detroit, MI  48226

Tax Deduction

The Detroit Public Library is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. If you wish to take a tax deduction for the value of the donation, consult your accountant and/or tax attorney.  By federal law, the Library cannot make appraisals.  Archival appraisers are available in most metropolitan areas. The relevant IRS forms and publications can be found here:

Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions
Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property
Publication 526, Charitable Contributions

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