The library maintains many collections within our Digital Collections. New items are acquired in a number of ways, including selected donations from members of the public.
Before an item is acquired for our collections, it undergoes a rigorous review process. Not all items are accepted, because not everything is appropriate for our collections, and because it is expensive to care for and provide access to collection items.
If you are interested in donating items, please review these frequently asked questions before contacting us.
What does the Library collect?
- Government records
- Oral history
We also collect non-fiction (and some fiction) books about Sonoma County, Sonoma County figures and families, or the wine industry, though in general, they would not be considered for digitization. While our Special Collections does not generally collection fiction or non-fiction by Sonoma County writers if it does not deal with Sonoma County and is not personal or biographical, these materials may be considered for our Local Authors program).
What doesn't the Library collect?
- Historical Objects
- Unidentified photographs
- Family Bibles
- Family trees
- Wedding dresses
- Foreign military memorabilia
How do I donate an item?
- Local history: Sonoma County History & Genealogy Library
- Petaluma history: Connie Jones, Petaluma History Room Librarian
- Wine-related materials: Megan Jones, Sonoma County Wine Library Curator
If we do accept your donation, you will need to fill out a Deed of Gift form. You may use the signed form for tax purposes (consult your tax specialist).
The more information you provide about your item(s), the more easily we'll be able to make a decision about whether or not to add it to our collections.
Please note: the Library reserves the right to dispose of any unsolicited materials delivered to one of its sites.
How can I tell if the Library already owns an item?
Does the Library ever purchase items from individuals for the Sonoma County Local History & Culture Collections?
How is the decision to take or decline an item made?
Can the Library appraise my item?
Can I get a tax deduction for my donation?
Can an item donated by me or my ancestors be returned to me?