Elizabeth Myers, Director of Special Collections, Smith CollegeMaterial donations to special collections are never free. Resource intensive Initial costs to acquire and make accessible rare materials also have a long cost tail of ongoing preservation and stewardship. When donors wish to also give a financial gift with their material gift, the question often becomes – how much do you need to care for my collection? Luckily, newer tools to determine more accurate costs are giving fundraisers a concrete answer to that question while at the same time, helping to shift the fundraising conversation.
This talk will focus on the 2021 use of the OCLC Cost of Stewardship calculator in the acquisition of the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) Records by the Sophia Smith Collection of women’s history in Smith College Special Collections that resulted in two financial gifts. This outcome was the culmination of years-long paradigm shift from pay-to-play giving language to a more equitable, flexible funding model that centers the real cost of archival and rare book management.
(Eliza) Beth Myers joined Smith College in 2014 as Director of Special Collections. She previously held positions at the Women and Leadership Archives in Chicago and the Walter Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in Detroit. She is currently a member and Vice President of the Society of American Archivist Foundation Board. Individually and as part of a team, Beth has raised 4.5M in funds while at Smith. Her current research interest is in grief culture as an extension of archival work.