Theodore Roosevelt Center Collection Policy

Statement of Purpose for the Theodore Roosevelt Center

Our goal is to serve scholars, tourists, teachers, curious citizens, and students of all ages as they explore the life and achievement of the 26th President of the United States. The Theodore Roosevelt Center works within Dickinson State University and Stoxen Library to collect, preserve, and provide access to collections which promote greater understanding of Theodore Roosevelt, his life and his legacy.

Collecting Areas

The Theodore Roosevelt Center has three distinct collecting areas:

  1. Collections and artifacts documenting the personal and political life of Theodore Roosevelt, his colleagues and friends, particularly pertaining to his Dakota years. This includes materials directly related to policy issues, decisions and events that took place under one of Theodore Roosevelt’s administrations.
  2. Collections and artifacts documenting the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt and his family.
  3. Collections and artifacts documenting hunting and ranch life in Southwestern North Dakota in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Acquisition Criteria

Conditions materials must meet in order to be acquired by the Center are:

  1. The collections or artifacts to be acquired clearly fall under our collecting areas outlined above.
  2. The depositor of the materials must be authorized to transfer the title of the material to Dickinson State University. The title should be obtained without restrictions as to the future use or disposition of the items. If an item does require some restrictions, this should be stated clearly in the deed of gift and approved by the Theodore Roosevelt Center staff.
  3. The material must undergo archival appraisal and be recommended for retention in the Theodore Roosevelt Center collections by a TR Center staff member.
  4. Material should be as free as possible from legal issues that might hinder its research potential.
  5. It is the Theodore Roosevelt Center’s intent and policy to comply with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). The TR Center will not intentionally collect Native American cultural objects specified under the Act, unless written permission has been granted by the appropriate Native American tribe or corporation.
  6. The materials must either become the property of Dickinson State University, to be administered by the Theodore Roosevelt Center, or become the Center’s responsibility to administer as it sees fit.
  7. The materials cannot be severely damaged or contain potential hazardous materials (e.g. the item is not toxic, radioactive, explosive, moldy, or infested).
  8. The collections or artifacts are not redundant.

Acquisition Methods 

Digital Gifts

  1. If a donor is not prepared or willing to gift a particular item or items to the Theodore Roosevelt Center, and the materials are deemed valuable to the public, you may consider gifting a digital copy for inclusion in the Theodore Roosevelt Digital Library.
  2. If you wish to scan the item/s yourself, please consult the Theodore Roosevelt Digital Library Collection Policy and the Theodore Roosevelt Center Digital Library Imaging Standards.
  3. If you are unable to scan the items yourself to our specifications, we may be able to assist you in digitizing your materials for inclusion in our digital collections. Please contact the Theodore Roosevelt Center's  Digital Library Coordinator to discuss this avenue for donation.


  1. All possible gifts should meet the Acquisition Criteria described above.
  2. Each gift will be reviewed and either all or part of the gift will be formally accepted into the collection through a prepared deed of gift between the Theodore Roosevelt Center and the donor.
  3. Items not accepted into the collection will be returned to the owner.
  4. See the Theodore Roosevelt Center Gift Policy for more information.


  1. Materials received through a bequest will be temporarily accepted into the collection until review of the materials can take place.
  2. Theodore Roosevelt Center staff will work with the executors of the estate to ensure the bequest is handled properly.
  3. The Theodore Roosevelt Center, after review of the material, may accept or refuse part or all of the bequest. For those items accepted into the collections, the executors of the estate will be asked to sign a formal deed of gift.
  4. See the Theodore Roosevelt Center Gift Policy for more information.


  1. The current policy of the Theodore Roosevelt Center is to encourage the donation of appropriate collection items.
  2. All offers to purchase objects will be reviewed by the Theodore Roosevelt Center in light of our collecting priorities and the availability of funds.


  1. Loans must be formalized by written agreement between the Theodore Roosevelt Center and the Borrower or Lender. Loan forms for objects leaving or entering the institution are completed and signed by both the lender and borrower, kept on file with the Archivist and reviewed on a regular basis.
  2. Loans will not be authorized for a period of more than one year, but may be renewed after review and approval by the Project Manager and /or the Archivist.
  3. The Theodore Roosevelt Center does not generally accept long-term or indefinite loans from individuals, preferring instead to arrange for donation of such items to the permanent collection. Exceptions to this policy requires the approval of the Project Manager and Archivist.

Outgoing Loans

    1. Loans will only be made for exhibit or conservation treatment.
    2. Loans may be made to historical societies, libraries, museums or other cultural institutions after consideration of their ability to properly care, display, store and protect items.
    3. Loans will not be made to private individuals.
    4. If necessary, the borrowing institution may need to produce evidence of  proper insurance for the items on loan, covering the value established by the Theodore Roosevelt Center.

Incoming Loans

    1. The Theodore Roosevelt Center will accept loans for exhibit only and items must meet the following criteria:
    2. It is determined that the Theodore Roosevelt Center can afford the costs of exhibiting, storing, securing, transporting and maintaining said loans.
    3. The Theodore Roosevelt Center can provide the care and protection expected in a museum environment.
    4. The Theodore Roosevelt Center is willing and able to meet any restrictions the lender places on an item.
    5. The lender will declare in writing that the lender owns the items. The Theodore Roosevelt Center will not borrow from a third party.

Appraisals and Donor Tax Deductions

  1. The Theodore Roosevelt Center cannot offer collection appraisals, nor estimate the value of a gift.  The Internal Revenue Service considers the TR Center or the TR Center employee an interested party, who, therefore, cannot appraise donations.  Donors may wish to refer to the IRS Publication #561, Determining the Value of Donated Property.  Donors will need to obtain an appraisal from a private source.
  2. Any type of donation may be tax deductible. Donors are encouraged to consult with their own lawyers or accountants to determine the extent of a possible deduction and to insure compliance with current regulations.
  3. No member of the Theodore Roosevelt Center staff will offer specific tax advice related to a donation.
  4. When required, an appropriate acknowledgement of all gifts added to the collections will be made on behalf of Dickinson State University.

Deaccessioning Items from the Collection

Periodically, the Theodore Roosevelt Center will perform an inventory of its holdings and materials may be considered for deaccessioning for the following reasons:

  1. The object or material is outside the collecting scope of the Theodore Roosevelt Center.
  2. The object or material has been lost or stolen or has been missing for at least two years.
  3. The object or material has deteriorated beyond usefulness.
  4. The object or material is a duplicate.
  5. The Theodore Roosevelt Center is unable to conserve the object or material in a responsible manner.


Also, the material being considered for deaccessioning must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be free from any donor-mandated restrictions.
  2. Be owned legally by Dickinson State University, in trust with the Theodore Roosevelt Center.
  3. Have been accessioned into the Theodore Roosevelt Center collection more than two years before deaccession is considered.

Deaccessioning process

All deaccessioning recommendations are to be in writing and include:

  1. The accession number and description.
  2. Acquisition information including date of acquisition, donor or vendor information, list of restrictions if any, and/or notation of the lack of restrictions.
  3. Justification for the proposed action with reference to the criteria explained above.
  4. Recommended means of disposal (should include transfer or gift to another institution, sale, education/research or destruction).
  5. Also, any recommendation should begin with attempting to contact the donor and inform them of our decision and if they would like the item returned to them.

The deaccessioning recommendations must then be approved by the Project Manager and Archivist of the Theodore Roosevelt Center as well as the Director of Library Services at Stoxen Library.

The Archivist will maintain a complete record of the deaccessioned material. This will be retained permanently.

Deaccessioned materials shall not be privately sold, given or otherwise transferred to the staff of the Theodore Roosevelt Center, Stoxen Library or Dickinson State University.

Any proceeds obtained from the sale of deaccessioned items will be placed in a fund to be used only for the acquisition, preservation, protection or care of the Theodore Roosevelt Center’s permanent collections.

For information on who to contact about material for potential acquisitions, please see the Theodore Roosevelt Gift Policy.

Updated 10/2011