Donating Collections | Center of Southwest Studies

Donating Your Collections


The Archives collects material on the history of Fort Lewis College and the Southwestern United States, especially the Four Corners area. We have one of the largest Southwest research collections in Colorado and one of the few major archival repositories focused on the Four Corners region.

Archival collections include personal papers of individuals and families; business records of mining, railroad, and other companies; records of fraternal, religious, and civic organizations and community action groups, and local government and political organizations. Our collections cover all time periods, and we acquire the records of defunct organizations as well as the inactive records of current groups.

When considering donating your archival materials, keep in mind that preserving papers in their original order provides important contextual information for researchers.

To donate archival items, please contact the Archives staff who will be happy to answer any questions you may have about collections access and restrictions.


The Center of Southwest Studies Museum collects textiles, pottery, sculpture, fine art, jewelry, and historic artifacts specific to the Southwest. The Museum’s current collecting initiatives are especially focused on historic and contemporary Hispanic art/artifacts and contemporary Southwest fine arts. We hope to add more Southwest ceramics and jewelry as well as historic and contemporary Puebloan and Hispanic textiles, including historic and contemporary colcha embroidery. The Museum would particularly love to add pieces to the collections by two San Luis Valley artists -- weaver Eppie Archuleta and colcha embroiderer Josie Lobato. The Center would also like to expand its collections to better reflect LGBTQ+ experiences in the Southwest either through art or artifacts.

If you have an item you would like to donate or any questions about the donation process, please contact the Museum staff. Please note that we cannot accept donations without seeing them first; please plan to arrange a time for us to see potential donations in person or send a photograph of your potential donation when you contact us.


The Delaney Southwest Special Collections Library houses rare books as well as an open-stack book and periodicals collection on the history, anthropology, archaeology, art, and cultures of the Southwest. We welcome donations of books and periodicals, but because our scope is very specific, we must review each title before accepting it for our collection. If you have items you wish to donate, please provide us with a detailed inventory that includes title, author, copyright, and publishing information, which we will review for addition to the collection.

Please contact the Library Specialist if you're interested in donating published items.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who decides what gets added to the Collections?

Donations to the Center are approved by a Collections Committee made up of the Center’s professional staff, a member from the Center’s Advisory Board, and appointed Fort Lewis College faculty and staff.  The Collections Committee meets in March, June, September, and December.

How will my donation be used?

All materials are made available in-house to any user, unless otherwise restricted. If your donation includes sensitive material, be sure to talk to us about your concerns before completing the donation process. We cannot promise that your donation will be put on display, although we do like to feature gifts in exhibits and our digital collections online.

What do I need to know about tax write-offs?

Donations made to the Center are processed through the Fort Lewis College Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Donors should consult their tax advisor at the time the gift is made.

Will the Center appraise my collection?

Appraisals are the sole responsibility of the donor. If you wish to obtain an independent appraisal for your item(s), you may contact one of the organizations listed below for information on how to find a certified appraiser near you.


Delaney Library: Mon - Fri 10 am - 4 pm or by appointment
Exhibit Gallery: Mon - Fri 1 - 4 pm or by appointment

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Center of Southwest Studies
Fort Lewis College
1000 Rim Drive Durango, CO 81301

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Parking: During the Fall and Spring terms, you can purchase parking passes online. Parking is free after 3:30 p.m. and during the summer, May to August.


Phone Numbers

Main Office: 970-247-7456
Library Reference Desk: 970-382-6982
Archives: 970-247-7126
College Records: 970-382-6951
Museum: 970-247-7359

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