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Unitarian Universalist history and identity guides Meadville Lombard’s extensive archival and scholarly expertise,so that our policies—from acquisitions to cataloging to digitization—all act to serve scholars and the larger UU community. One of the most vital ways we do this is through our acquisitions policy.

Our acquisitions policy both looks into the past and thinks about the future of Unitarian Universalism. We look into the past to recover historical materials of significance to liberal religion, Unitarianism, Universalism, and Unitarian Universalism. We also think about the future by working with other UU organizations to facilitate the preservation of history currently being made every day.

When looking into the past and thinking about the future, we are always acutely aware of the need to lift up and bring into the historical record all of the diversity present within our movement, with particular attention to those who often go unrecognized or underrepresented.

We are looking for...

  • Papers of individuals and families
  • Records of congregations and organizations
  • Accumulation of historical material pertaining to a single event, theme, or movement
  • Historically and culturally significant manuscripts and artifacts

To best serve scholars and the larger UU community, all possible acquisitions materials undergo rigorous inspection. All acquisitions must be generated by individuals and organizations historically and culturally important to liberal religion, Unitarianism, Universalism, and Unitarian Universalism. When inspecting a collection we also consider the condition of the materials and expenses related to their shipping and storage. After we receive a collection, we remove materials lacking in historical and cultural significance so that we can maximize the accessibility of the collection.

Because our goal is to make history accessible, we will only acquire materials if we are given sole ownership. While we prefer to receive materials without access restrictions, we will allow materials to have reasonable access restrictions if required by the donor.

If you are interested in donating materials to the Meadville Lombard Archives and Special Collections, please contact an archivist.