The Phillips Academy Archives collects, describes, displays, and preserves the organized body of permanent records created or received in connection with the transaction of Phillips Academy affairs. In addition the Archives collects primary source material that supports the research interests of the Academy.

Collections and manuscripts are selected for preservation in the Phillips Academy Archives primarily because of their historical research value. Materials accessioned will generally document the history of Phillips Academy and Abbot Academy, its community, and activities. Historical collections and manuscripts accessioned by the Phillips Academy Archives may include memorabilia, records, printed documents, photographic images, maps, graphic materials, and other historically significant materials in other physical forms. The historical resources of the Academy Archives are available for public use on the premises during regular business hours.

The Archives welcomes offers of privately owned materials that document the history of Abbot Academy and Phillips Academy. Manuscript collections such as the personal papers of Phillips Academy faculty, alumni, staff, and trustees and the records of outside organizations with ties or a complementary mission to Phillips Academy supplement and enhance the official Phillips Academy record.

Gifts to the Phillips Academy  Archives are considered outright donations to be used in the best interest of the Phillips Academy Archives. Donations become the sole and irrevocable property of the Phillips Academy Archives.

Unless otherwise restricted by copyright or by the donor and agreed to by the Phillips Academy Archives at the time of acquisition, all literary rights are conveyed to the Phillips Academy Archives. All donor access and use restrictions and conditions will be specified in the donation agreement. The Archives can assume no responsibility for abuse of literary or copyright restrictions by users of research materials.

Because no individual or institution can predict or govern the changing attitudes of future generations, the Archives reserves the right to reevaluate and reappraise historical material in its holdings and to deaccession them when appropriate. Deaccessioned collections and items weeded from collections during processing, due to duplication, irrelevance, limited use, or deterioration, will be offered to the original donor or his/her agent if so requested at the time of donation. If the donor wishes not to reclaim the material or can not be located, the Phillips Academy  Archives reserves the right to offer the material to other depositories or discard the items. Any material declared expendable must be approved by the Archivist.

Donations of historical material may be tax deductible. However, the Phillips Academy Archives can not appraise donations for tax purposes. For the protection of the donor, it is recommended that such appraisals be done by a disinterested third party and before title to the material is conveyed to the Phillips Academy Archives.

What to Donate

If you are interested in donating organizational records or personal papers to Phillips Academy, please contact the Archives and Special Collections Department (978-749-4069; Staff will work with donors of appropriate material to identify specifically what should be preserved.

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Records of Individuals

Letters, diaries, speeches, scrapbooks, autobiographical sketches, photographs, films, audio and video tapes, and professional files.

The Donation Process

Because the research value of historical materials may be diminished if items are removed or rearranged, donors are encouraged to contact the Archives before discarding or rearranging materials. Archives staff members work with the donor to identify historically significant materials and prepare them for transfer to the Archives. Before the physical transfer of materials can occur, legal title to the materials needs to be transferred from the donor to Phillips Academy. This is done via a gift agreement, which also details any restrictions on access. For further information on gift agreements, please see the Society of American Archivists’ A Guide to Deeds of Gift. For further information on the donation process, see: Donating Your Organizational Records to a Repository.

Collection Care

Collections donated to the Archives are organized and described by professional archivists to provide researchers with easy access to the materials. The resulting finding aid or guide to the collection is posted on the Archives website, making it available to anyone with Internet access. Researchers (e.g. students, teachers, professors, historians, journalists) use these guides to identify material that will be useful to them in their work.

The effort needed to physically preserve collections and provide intellectual control of them is time-consuming and expensive. Donors are, therefore, encouraged to provide financial support for the preservation of their historical records.

Further Information

If you have questions or would like to discuss donating materials to Phillips Academy’s Archives and Special Collections Department, please contact Paige Roberts (978-749-4069;

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