Skip to Main Content

CalArts Special Collections & Institute Archives

chat loading...

Transferring Materials to the Archives

The Institute Archives collects materials of enduring and permanent value that document the six schools and all of the offices and divisions of CalArts, all student organizations, the Board of Trustees, CAP, CNP, and REDCAT as well as The Los Angeles Conservatory of Music and the Chouinard Art School. The best way to determine if materials are appropriate for donation to the Archives is to schedule an appointment with the Institute Archivist and/or see our Institute Archives Collection Policy.

When preparing to transfer materials to the Archives, please fill out the Institute Archives Record Transfer Form. Once received, we will advise you on the appropriate transfer method. Lastly, please attach a copy of this form to the box, envelope or container for the materials.  

For general information about donating organizational records to an archives, see the Society of American Archivists' brochure, Donating your Organization's Records to a Repository.


Donating Materials to the Archives

We welcome donations from private donors and inquiries from faculty, students, staff, alumni, organizations, and members of the general public wishing to donate materials. Through your generous donations, we are able to build our holdings and preserve and make available your CalArts, Chouinard, and Los Angeles Conservatory of Music stories and memories for future generations. 

Please note that we will need to examine closely materials that have been stored in garages, attics, or basements or areas that are at high risk for exposure to pests, water, or substances that could cause irreparable damage and due to the high cost of processing and storing materials, we reserve the right to refuse the gift of any materials that the archivist considers unsuitable as an addition to the collections (see collection policy above).

Conditions of Acceptance

Large donations must be reviewed prior to delivery and may require a site visit by an archivist. Gifts are accepted with the understanding that they become the property of CalArts upon receipt, and that the archives may make all necessary decisions as to their retention and disposition. A Deed of Gift must be signed and dated before the donation of materials.


The Dean of the Library will make written acknowledgment of all gifts. Acknowledgments typically include the date of receipt and a brief description of the gift. We do not provide itemized lists of items received.

Tax Information and Appraisals

The archives cannot legally appraise the gifts made to it nor do we recommend specific appraisers. Please see below for sources to locate a qualified appraiser. For more information consult IRS publication 561 entitled Determining the Value of Donated Property, available at  or you can call 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676) 24 hours a day to have one mailed. Consult the form directly for full details and required documentation.

American Society of Appraisers

Antiquarian Bookseller’s Association of America

Appraisers Association of America

International Society of Fine Arts Appraisers

Monetary Donations

Gifts of money to the Institute Archives are welcome. All such gifts are accepted in consultation with the representatives from the library and the Office of Advancement. A special fund may be established for large gifts, while smaller, one-time gifts will be added to the general fund to support the access to and development of the collections.

Theses, Portfolio, Score Submissions

The CalArts Library and its Special Collections and Institute Archives considers student work a vital part of its collections and we take pride in the maintenance of the CalArts Master’s Theses Collection. A student’s thesis is an important culmination of his or her work at CalArts and is a unique resource for current and future students, faculty, and outside researchers.

All graduate students from the following programs are required to submit their thesis:

  • MFA Writing Program (Critical Studies)

  • MA Aesthetics & Politics (Critical Studies)

  • MFA Writing for Performance (Theater)

  • MFA Composition (Music)

Submission guidelines and templates

For help with formatting your work and general submission information, contact

CalArts Library
24700 McBean Pkwy
Valencia, CA 91355

About the Library
Research Support
Contact Us