Donating to Yukon Archives

  • Donating records
  • Donating publications to the Archives Library
  • Types of donations we accept
  • How we decide what to accept
  • What happens after you donate
  • Make a financial donation

When you donate to Yukon Archives, your story becomes part of Yukon’s collective memory.

  1. Donating records

    Make an appointment

    To make an appointment to discuss your donation, email or phone 867-667-5321, or toll-free in Yukon 1-800-661-0408.

    This appointment lets our staff collect background information from you about the records. Our staff may not be available for drop-ins, so contact us before you come.

    Use the online tool

    Not able to meet with us in-person to discuss your donation?

    Use the Donate to Yukon Archives online tool

    After you submit your information, an archivist will follow up with you.

    The donation process

    Prepare background information

    Prepare background information about your proposed donation before your appointment. This helps us to decide whether your records are a good fit for our holdings.

    Not able to meet with us in-person? You can submit background information about your proposed donation through the Donate to Yukon Archives online tool


    • a description of the approximate size or extent of the donation;
    • the date range the records cover;
    • a description of the material (for example: reports, diaries, photographs, etc.); and
    • the names of the people who created the material.

    The assessment process

    Once we receive your donation, an archivist will make a detailed assessment of the materials. This can take a few days or several months, depending on the nature and complexity of the donation.

    Sign a donation receipt

    If we accept your donation, you and the territorial archivist will sign a donation receipt. We must have this for even the smallest donation. It transfers ownership and legal rights to Yukon Archives.

    It also provides a record of:

    • what you are donating;
    • how it was created, looked after and maintained;
    • your relationship to the material; and,
    • any restrictions we have agreed to on access and use.

    Bequeath material

    You can leave records or publications to Yukon Archives in your will. Contact us before including such a provision. This way we can make sure your donation meets our acquisition policy.

  2. Donating publications to the Archives Library

    Small donations

    If you are donating a small number of publications to the library, you can drop them off during open hours. No appointment is necessary.

    Large donations

    If you are donating a larger number of publications to the library, contact us to arrange a time to discuss your donation. Email or phone 867-667-5321, or toll-free in Yukon 1-800-661-0408. You may also use the Donate to Yukon Archives online tool.

    In most cases, we don't need a written agreement for library donations.

  3. Types of donations we accept

    Individuals, families, organizations and businesses donate a wide variety of records to us. These include:

    • textual records;
    • photographic records;
    • audio-visual records;
    • maps; and
    • plans.

    This makes it difficult to generalize about the kinds of records we take. Donors are sometimes surprised at what we consider historically valuable.

    See About the collections for examples of the records held here.

    Original records

    We accept donations of original materials rather than copies. Originals are the most authentic form of documents; copies involve some loss of fidelity.

    We are very interested in learning more about the archival material created by your family or organization, such as:

    • written records; and
    • original photographs.

    Your material could be a good fit for our holdings.

    Artifacts and objects

    A museum is a better home for objects, or artifacts. We recommend you contact one of the many Yukon museums or cultural centres if you have objects you wish to donate.

    Records from other archives

    We do not accept copies of records held by other archives, libraries or repositories. This policy allows us to devote our resources to the unique and original records at Yukon Archives.

    Electronic photos, documents and emails

    We are planning a program to preserve and provide access to digital records. Contact us to talk about what computer files we may be able to accept now and in the future.

  4. How we decide what to accept

    Accepting archival records

    When we decide whether to acquire archival material, we consider:

    • the mandate of Yukon Archives and other institutions;
    • the completeness of the records;
    • the resources needed for us to make the records available to researchers in a reasonable period of time;
    • how the records might strengthen or weaken our existing holdings;
    • the availability of appropriate storage space;
    • the extent and terms of restrictions a potential donor plans to place on the records;
    • the physical condition of the records; and
    • the resources and ability we need to conserve records for a reasonable/indefinite period of time.

    Accepting donations for the Archives Library

    We have criteria for what we decide to accept as donation to the Archives Library.

    Do the publications fit with the library’s focus for collecting?

    The focus includes:

    • non-fiction about Yukon or neighbouring jurisdictions as well as polar regions; and
    • fiction and other works of the imagination with:
      • Yukon settings and characters;
      • northern Canadian or Alaskan settings; or
      • works with themes relevant to Yukon.

    Are the publications already represented in the archives?

  5. What happens after you donate

    What happens to records

    Accessioning records

    Once you've signed the donation receipt the records will be accessioned. We give your record a unique number and document the records entering the archives.

    Processing the records

    We process the records so researchers can use them. Processing can involve:

    • arranging the records, although the goal is to maintain the order established by the person who created them;
    • putting them into appropriate folders and boxes;
    • attending to any preservation requirements; and
    • describing the records according to archival standards. Descriptions:
      • can vary from an overall explanation of the material to a description of individual items;
      • include the content and format of photographs; and
      • are entered into a database to make them available for patrons to search.

    What happens to publications

    We catalogue publications and make them available through our Public Access Catalogue (PAC). To help patrons search for information, we may include in the catalogue:

    • a short summary or abstract of the publication;
    • list the table of contents; and
    • add subject headings and keywords.

    We also identify special features such as handwritten annotations and limited edition runs.

    You can search the PAC by keyword, author, title and call number. Depending upon the age of the title, we may add an e-book link if a digital copy is available.

    Storing records and publications

    All material is stored in our secure, environmentally controlled vaults to ensure their long-term preservation.

  6. Make a financial donation

    The Friends of Yukon Archives Society (FOYAS) accepts financial donations on our behalf. Email to discuss the kind of project you are interested in supporting.

    Financial contributions can be used to:

    • acquire new material;
    • process material already owned by the archives; or
    • target certain items in our holdings for preservation or access projects.