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Donate Your History to the Leather Archives & Museum

Leather Archives & Museum

6418 N. Greenview Ave. Chicago, IL 60626


Donation Information For Clubs and Organizations

As your club historians and/or archivists help consider what to include in future donations, here are some specifics about clubs and organizations who donate to our collections. The LA&M encourages clubs and organizations to self-determine what records best represent their place in leather history, culture, and scholarship, but if you would like to set up a call to discuss your club or organization’s most recent donation, or details regarding the donation process, please don't hesitate to contact the LA&M staff.

The Society of American Archivists has a web page and downloadable brochure about donating organizational records to a repository, which gives an explanation about historic and enduring value, record type and format, and gives a guide for determining what to donate. This document may help the club assess what will be most used by researchers, what types of documents hold the most historical/evidentiary value, etc.

Primary source documentation--(i.e.: meeting minutes, club notes, bylaws, event planning materials, newsletters, correspondence)--is heavily used for research by leather community members, students, and scholars at the LA&M. Large ephemeral objects such as cardboard/cardstock event signage, 3-D set designs from events, are more likely to be used occasionally, particularly if an article or book is being published about a club or organization. Oftentimes these larger ephemeral objects have a great deal of meaning to the club and its members, but it’s difficult for a researcher to ascertain historical value to these types of objects. What is most beneficial to researchers is when an ephemeral object and/or artifact comes with a story about why it exists and has meaning to the club, when it was used, etc. This is why the LA&M asks that materials whose value is not always intrinsic (i.e.--leathers, artifacts, objects, toys and devices, photographs, etc.) be accompanied with documented provenance, or information regarding the origins, custody, and ownership of an item or collection. Documenting the history and stories of these materials will add to their historic value and significantly benefits researchers using our collections. We recommend that you complete this before donating these kinds of items. In addition to event and club information, fibers, magazines/books, photographs, memorabilia, artwork and posters for donation, we also accept organizational archival collections. An archival collection is different from a donation of a single artifact or poster; archives are the records created and/or accumulated by people and organizations as they lived and worked. Archival collections contain mixed materials such as correspondence, journals, diaries, financial records, photographs, meeting minutes, artwork, reports, memorabilia, fibers, leathers, as well as sound recordings, videos, and film. Visit the Organizational Records section of the LA&M's Archival Collections web page to view organizational archival collections at the LA&M.

The LA&M requires that any donor complete a donation agreement by downloadable PDF or submitting it electronically through our website. A donation agreement is required every time an individual/club/org makes a donation. Thank you for your support of the LA&M and your contributions to leather history and leather present.