Contribute to the Collections

Blumberg receives Nobel Prize
Baruch Blumberg receives the 1976 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Photograph from the Baruch S. Blumberg papers donated to the American Philosophical Society.

Gifts to Library Collections

The American Philosophical Society Library welcomes contributions of books, manuscripts, personal papers, works of art on paper, digital objects, and other materials suitable for the Library’s collections. 

Gifts of tangible personal property are accepted when donated materials enhance existing collections, fall within the collection development policy of the Library, or represent an extraordinary opportunity to document areas related to the mission of the Library. 

The Library’s major collecting areas are:

  • American history, with an emphasis on the mid-Atlantic region, ca.17501840
  • American anthropology, with an emphasis on Native American languages and cultures
  • Natural history and natural philosophy
  • Life sciences, with an emphasis on evolutionary theory, genetics, molecular biology, and paleontology
  • Physical sciences in the 20th and 21st centuries, with an emphasis on quantum physics
  • Medical research in the 20th and 21st centuries

All Library acquisitions are catalogued and made available for scholarly use as quickly as possible after accessioning.

Prospective donors should contact Patrick Spero, Librarian, at librarian@amphilsoc.org.

In keeping with IRS regulations for gifts of tangible personal property, professional appraisals of gifts for tax purposes are the responsibility of donors.


Gifts to Museum Collections

The Museum welcomes contributions of fine art, scientific instruments, patent models, miniatures, medals and medallions, furniture and other decorative arts, and archaeological and ethnographic objects in accordance with the scope and themes of its collection.  

The collection of the APS Museum reflects the central role of the APSand Philadelphiain the founding of the nation and the early development of science and technology in the colonies and early Republic. The collection is strongest in:

  • Objects relating to early American history (especially Benjamin Franklin, the Society’s founder)
  • Early American portraits
  • The history of science and technology from the 18th century through the early 20th century

The collection is housed in a secure, climate-controlled space. Objects are also displayed in conjunction with thematic exhibitions in Philosophical Hall.

Gifts of tangible personal property are accepted in accordance with the collections policy of the Museum. Prospective donors should contact Merrill Mason, Director of the APS Museum, at mmason@amphilsoc.org.

In keeping with IRS regulations for gifts of tangible personal property, professional appraisals of gifts for tax purposes are the responsibility of donors.