'And when people start asking the kinds of questions you asked me here, then they will have the documents for it. There were the innovations in the liturgy. We have all these documents here. The exchange of letters with some of the people like Thomas Merton is wonderful material. I’m now digging up some of the old letters written to and from the Lubavitcher Rebbe. That’s wonderful material, too. People ask me, Are you happy with how Jewish renewal is today? And I say, 'It’s not my business anymore.' Just as I was deployed and used by God and Earth in the process of life, so there will be other people who will be used the same way. If they are awake and open to what is happening, they will continue Jewish renewal.
Now what comes? A brucha, a blessing. May everybody who is going to touch one of those papers in the archive feel good about it, because some of these papers are going to fall apart or be out of order. May things in your life be so wonderful that you shouldn’t get upset about that. So a blessing to all of you: v‘nomar. Amen.'
-Rabbi Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi in a 2011 interview with Professor David Shneer.
Read the full interview here.

What to Donate

The curator for the Innovations in Jewish Life Collections works closely with donors to identify those materials of research interest which should be preserved. Although not all papers and records fall within the collecting scope of the department, the types of materials listed below are often valuable. These lists are suggestive, not definitive.

  • Personal and Family Papers (paper, analog, and/or digital):
    • Letters, diaries, speeches/lectures, albums/scrapbooks, memoirs/reminiscences, photographs, professional files, genealogical information, films, videotapes and audiotapes.
  • Organizational Records: (paper, analog, and/or digital):
    • Articles of incorporation/constitution/bylaws, correspondence, planning documents, architectural records, legal documents, diaries, minutes of meetings, reports, memoranda, newsletters and other publications, directories, financial documents, press releases, membership records, and research and subject files.

Because the research value of papers and records may be diminished if items are removed or rearranged, donors are encouraged to contact the IJL Collections team before selecting materials for donation.

Legal Agreement Necessary for Donation

Donors are asked to sign a gift agreement, the legal document that governs a donation of materials to the University of Colorado Boulder. The IJL team will supply sample agreements and will work with donors to define the terms of the gift. The deed addresses physical ownership, ownership of intellectual property rights, and access to the materials.

How We Take Care of Collections

  • Collections are arranged and described by professional archivists who adhere to professionally accepted guidelines in the University Libraries' Rare and Distinctive Collections (RaD). They prepare descriptive guides and inventories which are used by researchers to select materials to study. Learn more about these guides, called ‘finding aids,’ in Using Archival Materials.
  • All material collections are placed in archival, acid-free containers and appropriate folders to ensure long-term preservation of the materials.  Some archival collections may contain materials that have physically deteriorated or are fragile. If necessary, staff will consult with professional conservators to decide upon appropriate treatment.  Electronic and born digital materials have their own preservation needs that are addressed on a case by case basis, with some data currently migrated into a preservation format.
  • Collections are kept in environmentally-controlled, secure, closed areas, and do not circulate outside of RaD. Materials are viewed in a supervised reading room. When the department is closed, archival materials are protected in a secured environment and patrolled by the security staffs of the library and university.
  • Providing physical and intellectual control of valuable collections is expensive. Donors who are able to do so are encouraged to provide financial support for the arrangement, description, and preservation of their papers or records.

How to Donate

Collection donations to the Innovations in Jewish Life are handled on a case-by-case basis. Please use our Contact Form if you are interested in making a material donation.

Have additional questions? Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.