Accessibility statement

Donating or depositing material

Donating material

We welcome all offers of donations and deposits to the Borthwick and take in new archival material on a regular basis.

Further information is available in our Collections Development Policy: .

If you are unsure whether the material you have to offer fits with our collecting policy please contact us.

We are happy to discuss this and any other issue relating to donations or deposits with you.

Donations and deposits

We provide state of the art, environmentally-controlled, secure storage for archives in various formats, including paper, parchment, manuscript volumes, maps, photographs, audio, video and digital archives.

We provide a modern, invigilated searchroom for researchers to access the archives in line with our regulations, current legislation and international standards.

If you have any documents that you would like to donate or deposit, please contact us to arrange to speak to an archivist.

We will advise you as to whether your documents are suitable for permanent preservation by the Borthwick.

An archivist may wish to meet you in person to look through the documents and discuss these with you.

Where it is not appropriate for us to take in the material we will endeavour to suggest other more suitable repositories. See the FAQs for more information.

Terms and conditions

Archives can be accepted as gifts (ensuring their continued public availability), or on deposit, whereby the depositor retains legal ownership.

The terms on which we hold archives are commonly defined by a gift or deposit agreement which, as owner, you will be asked to sign.

Standard conditions for donors and depositors are provided below.

For gifts, the donor will:

  • give legal ownership of the archive to the Borthwick on behalf of the University

For deposits, the depositor will:

  • deposit the archive for an indefinite period of no less than 25 years
  • agree to pay the Borthwick's costs in preparing finding aids for the archive and in boxing, preserving and storing the archive in the event of a withdrawal
  • acknowledge that remedial conservation work on items in the archive can be performed by Borthwick staff at cost to the owner by separate agreement
  • acknowledge that the University shall not be held liable for loss or damage to the archive while it is in its custody

Insurance of the archive will be the responsibility of the Borthwick Institute.

Copyright implications will be discussed with all potential donors and depositors.

On receiving the archive the Borthwick will undertake a fuller assessment of the archive's condition and send a formal accessions receipt.

Our services

The Borthwick will:

  • store the archive in strongrooms compliant with BS4971:2017 (and any comparable successor standards)
  • make the archive available to the general public in its supervised searchrooms and under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, subject to the provisions of Data Protection laws and other relevant legislation
  • undertake preservation and packaging
  • prepare publicly accessible finding aids to modern cataloguing standards
  • gain prior permission from depositors before removing items from the Borthwick's premises or care eg for external exhibition
  • insure the archive to cover the cost of remedial conservation in the event of damage

Parish and diocesan deposits

Parish records

The Borthwick is the recognised place of deposit for Church of England parish records in the modern archdeaconry of York under the Parochial Registers and Records Measure 1978, and the amendment of 1992.

If you are intending to deposit parish records with us please follow the Church of England Record Centre's guidance on the Care of Parish Records.

We are pleased to receive the records of ecclesiastical parishes. Civil parish and civil council records should be deposited with the relevant local authority record office.

Diocesan records

We are also the recognised place of deposit for the records of the Diocese of York.

If you intend to deposit diocesan records with us, please first consult the Church of England Record Centre's guidance on the Care of Diocesan Records.