Skip to content

Collection Development Policy for Special Collections

Lavery Library Special Collections seeks to collect, preserve, arrange, and provide access to the rare and unique materials housed in the collection in order to promote the use of these materials by the Fisher community, scholars, and the public.

General Collection Development Policy

The focus of the collection is social conflict and discovery. The collection encompasses items from 1829-1961, but concentrates on the years 1865-1914. Geographically, the collection focuses on the Rochester Region and New York State.

Current Subject Areas Collected


  • Slavery and Abolition
  • The Civil War
  • Native American Social & Legal Issues
  • The Grand Army of the Republic


  • Frederick Douglass
  • Alexander M. Stewart
  • Monsignor Edward Byrne
  • George Palmer Decker

Types of Material Collected

Books, periodicals, manuscripts, letters, diaries, newspapers, photographs, maps, and ephemeral material such as conference programs, pamphlets, tourist brochures, and dedications.

Rochester Radio History Collection Development Policy

The Rochester Radio History Collection is an exception to the General Collection Development Policy. Geographically, the collection focuses on the Rochester Region and has no chronological limits. In addition to the material types listed below, types of material collected also include audio recordings.

Collecting Guidelines

Materials may be acquired by gift, bequest, purchase, or any other transaction that passes title of the materials to Lavery Library Special Collections. We are not currently actively seeking new acquisitions, but will consider gifts and bequests. Costs associated with acquisition, cataloging, preservation, and maintenance of collections, as well as space restraints must be taken into account when considering adding collections. Preference will be given to collections where external financial support for processing, preservation, and/or staffing of collections is available. The library director will have final approval on all acquisitions.

Items that are not consistent with the Lavery Library Special Collections Mission Statement or Collection Development Policy will be considered candidates for withdrawal from the collection. These items may be transferred to another institution or sold when appropriate as deemed by the library director.

Special Collections Deed of Gift Form [pdf]

Loan of Materials

Materials from Lavery Library Special Collections may be loaned for a period of no longer than one calendar year. Adherence to the ACRL Guidelines for Borrowing and Lending Special Collections Materials for Exhibition is required. A loan agreement must be completed. The library director has final authority on all special collection loans.