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Giving to the Library

As the center of intellectual life at UNC Charlotte, the J. Murrey Atkins Library provides exceptional collections, spaces, services, and technologies to the more than 1.4 million students, faculty, and researchers who visit our library annually. We inspire innovation, support research, and cultivate scholarship by connecting people, ideas, and resources.

When you make a gift to Atkins Library, you invest in the future success of the 30,000 students we serve as well as help us support the research efforts of our renowned faculty. Please support the Atkins Library by contributing to one of the funds below. Your gift is deeply appreciated.

Life & Legacy Personal Histories (Oral History Philanthropy Program)

J. Murrey Atkins Library introduces LIFE & LEGACY PERSONAL HISTORIES, an oral history philanthropy program to preserve the stories of your friends and family

Through the new Life & Legacy Personal History Philanthropy Program, Atkins Library highlights the power of oral history to capture the authentic voices of individuals, in their own words.

For a donation of $1,500, Atkins Library provides a professionally-conducted oral history interview with the donor or a person of the donor’s choosing, recorded with high-quality sound recording equipment. Donors and interviewees receive their own digital copies of the completed oral history interview with instructions on how to preserve it for future generations. Interviewees will retain copyright in the recordings.

Donors get a professional oral history interview to document the life and legacy of a family member, close friend, or associate, and at the same time provide support for Atkins’ Special Collections’ vital role in capturing the oral histories of people and communities throughout the region.

For more information on the Life & Legacy Personal Histories Philanthropy Program, contact Dawn Schmitz,
Associate Dean for Special Collections & University Archives, Dawn.Schmitz@uncc.edu or 704-687-1674. 

Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Donors are encouraged to consult with their legal, tax, and financial advisors prior to making a donation.

Rare Book Philanthropy Program

Overview of the Rare Book Collection
J. Murrey Atkins Library has been collecting rare publications for more than forty years. Comprising approximately 12,900 volumes, the collection contains books, broadsides, maps, and other printed material covering a wide variety of subjects and eras. Particular subject strengths include the history of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and North Carolina; American and British literature; African American history; theology and religion; and children’s literature. Though the majority of imprints date from 1800 to the present, the collection contains a substantial number of books from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, many of which exemplify distinctive early printing and binding techniques.

These books are held in Special Collections and University Archives and every year hundreds of them are made available to students, researchers and community members who visit the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of the library. Many of these books are used multiple times each semester, as they form an important part of the curriculum in a range of subject areas. They are stored and used in monitored conditions because they are rare, as defined by our inability to replace them if they are lost or damaged. In other words, they would either be too costly to replace or they are completely unavailable on the market.

The Use of Rare Books is On the Rise
The use of rare books is increasing, perhaps as a result of the desire to encounter physical objects in a world saturated with digital information. Students in History and related disciplines can learn not only from the information contained in rare books and editions, which may be unavailable elsewhere, but also from the book’s physical features: To what audience was the book directed? How much did it cost to print? Students in Graphic Arts and related fields can learn about historical printing and typesetting techniques. These are just a few examples of how students use rare books.

As a result of the recent increase in the use of rare books in the curriculum, Atkins Library faces two related challenges: 1) Ensuring the books currently in the collection are preserved for future generations; and 2) Building the collection to meet the demands of the University’s curriculum and the community in the future.

Rare Book Conservation
Atkins Library is pleased to offer the opportunity for community members to be involved in preserving our rare books for generations to come by helping us to enlist the services of experienced professionals in rare book conservation. These conservators can repair and stabilize the books, ensuring they can continue to be used. The following is a very general list of the types of treatments required and the cost range estimates:

  • A pamphlet that requires a protective cover to help it withstand repeated use ($300-$400)
  • A book that requires a custom-made box or other enclosure ($300-$500)
  • A book with a binding that has failed, causing damage to the paper ($1,000-$5,000)
  • A very large map that requires cleaning, repair and a new custom box that would allow it to be stored safely and brought out for research easily ($3,000-$4,000)

We are currently conducting an item-by-item assessment of our rare book conservation needs. A few specific examples of books that we have identified as requiring treatment are:

  • Douglass, Frederick and William Lloyd Garrison.Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (Boston: Anti-Slavery Office, 1845) - repair to binding and custom box (est. $2,000)
    • Rare and priceless edition of this seminal primary source in American history, which is highlighted by the Library of Congress as one of the “Books That Shaped America.” Our edition of the book is so rare that we were asked to provide a high-quality digital copy of the frontispiece to the new Museum of African American History and Culture, and this copy is now on permanent display at the museum. This book is used frequently in many classes that study abolitionism, African American history in general, and other topics. The cover has come off; the book requires repair to the binding and a custom box. 
  • Abolitionist-era pamphlets - end papers and binding (est. $300-$450 each)
    • Valuable for the study of African American history and social history in general. Each requires new end papers and a binding to help them withstand repeated use. 
  • Collette Map of North Carolina (1770) - repair, cleaning, and custom box (est. $3,000-$4,000)
    • Very valuable rare map which had long been on display in an inadequate frame, causing some light damage. We would like to have it repaired and a custom box made for it, which would allow us to provide access to it in the Special Collections Reading Room. (Note: we have already completed the conservation work on a similar map, the Mouzon Map of North Carolina, 1775. This is available for viewing and research in the Special Collections reading room).
  • Sketches of Charlotte, 5 editions ranging from 1888 to 1904 - various treatments (starting at est. $1,200)
    • These rare volumes tell the history of Charlotte in pictures and text, and they are heavily used because they include many images of Charlotte buildings that are no longer in existence. They range from very poor to fair condition, but each would require repair to the paper and bindings. 
  • Eliot, T.S. The Wasteland. (Boni and Liveright, 1922) - new custom-made box (est. $300-$400)
    • This is the rare first edition that was donated as our one millionth volume. It is in good condition, but it requires a custom box to protect it. -- FUNDED!

Here are some facts about the Conservation program:

  • Donors may identify a level of support they would like to provide, and Special Collections staff will match them with one or more books requiring conservation treatments for them to review and adopt.
  • Conservation work will be carried out by ECS, a world-renowned conservation lab in Brown’s Summit, NC (Greensboro).
  • Donors who pledge $1,000 in conservation treatments will be treated to a tour of the ECS conservation lab.
  • All donors will have the opportunity to be acknowledged in the library catalog record and in the Annual Report as having made the conservation work possible.

Rare Book Collection Development
Atkins Library relies on financial and in-kind donations to build our collection of rare books, many of which can be purchased for between $200 and $1500, although some cost thousands of dollars. Facts about the Collection Development program include:

  • A donor may identify an amount he or she wishes to contribute, beginning at $200, and select one of the following collecting areas he or she would like to help build:
    • History of North Carolina
    • Children’s literature
    • African American literature
    • Publications of North Carolina small presses
    • Comic books and graphic novels by local authors or illustrators
    • Rare editions of significant works of American literature

Staff in Special Collections & University Archives will identify books that fit within our collecting priorities to match the donor’s preferences. Since the rare book market is dynamic and ever-changing, our ability to identify a book or books that meet particular criteria at a certain price point will depend upon availability.

The donor will be acknowledged in the library catalog record and in the Annual Reportas contributing the acquisition of the rare book(s).

For more information on the Rare Book Philanthropy Program, contact Judy Lekoski at 704-687-0084 or jlekoski@uncc.edu.

 

Naming Opportunities

There are numerous opportunities in Atkins Library to create a lasting legacy by naming a study room, a creative technology space, some comfortable seating, or even the Atrium after a person of your choice. Below are some ideas to consider.

Group Study Rooms
The Library offers nearly 60 Group Study rooms, most of which are equipped with a computer and a whiteboard to facilitate group learning and presentations. Students reserve rooms online, which keeps them occupied almost continuously during the academic semesters.

Second Floor Technology Support area
Recognizing the growing importance of exposing students to emerging technologies, and encouraging the use of these technologies in building scholarship - the Library has devoted a large space on the second floor to supporting these needs. In addition to staffing a Technology Support Desk where students can get immediate assistance, we are also building a Visualization Lab to enhance student, faculty, and staff research and learning by connecting them with unique, large-scale visualization hardware and software. The Video Wall will allow users to interact with digital and large format content. Finally, we are also developing a Maker Space, which will have cutting edge technologies available for checkout to students for learning, experimentation, and ultimately integration into their course projects. Some of the items we plan to acquire are Raspberry Pi, GoPro cameras, 3D Printers, and 3D Scanners.

Graduate and Silent Study Room
This space is dedicated to the unique needs of the University’s 5,000+ Graduate Students. Surrounded by glass walls overlooking a beautiful campus vista, this newly renovated space is a quiet haven for intense concentration. Graduate students can store materials in lockers and spread out on Google-like hoteling desks.

Atrium
The Library’s three-story Atrium presents a grand space as patrons enter the building. While its main purpose is for student study, the furniture is purposefully versatile - allowing this space to be used for large events and exhibits. This is an iconic space that students will remember fondly as “their library.”

If you would like to discuss other ways to contribute to the collections, facilities, technologies, services, or programs of Atkins Library that support our students, faculty, and researchers, please contact Betty Ladner by email or call 704-687-5001.

Endowed Positions

Atkins Library has built a reputation in the library profession for innovative thinking and cutting edge technologies. Endowed positions will allow us to attract and retain the best and the brightest minds to continue exploring new forms of scholarship and training the next generation of scholars. Below are examples of endowed positions in academic libraries.

Dean of the Library
As the Library’s Chief Executive, the Dean of the Library is a persuasive advocate, a coalition builder, and an influential spokesperson on national information policy matters. The Dean’s endowed title will contribute to the incumbent’s ability to create success in all these spheres.

Associate Dean of Special Collections and University Archives
As the leader of a priceless collection of rare and unique materials, the Associate Dean of Atkins Library’s Special Collections/University Archives plays a prominent role in the intellectual and cultural life of our region. High visibility is critical to the success of the incumbent in establishing and providing access to great collections.

Subject Specialist Librarians
The genius of Atkins’ approach to public service lies in the deep disciplinary knowledge of its librarians. Endowed subject librarian positions will help the library attract individuals whose ability to teach and advise is matched by their credentialed immersion in the subjects they represent.

If you would like to discuss other ways to contribute to the collections, facilities, technologies, services, or programs of Atkins Library that support our students, faculty, and researchers, please contact Betty Ladner by email or call 704-687-5001.

Collections Support

While books are constantly evolving with regard to format, the essential mission of the academic library remains that of collecting, curating and preserving the record of scholarship in any format for generations to come. We invite donations of any size to support the collections needs of a rapidly growing university.

Collections Endowments
A $25,000 gift can establish a named endowment that can support the purchase of collections in any subject area. Endowments can be single gifts, or spread out over a period of years.

If you would like to discuss other ways to contribute to the collections, facilities, technologies, services, or programs of Atkins Library that support our students, faculty, and researchers, please contact Betty Ladner by email or call 704-687-5001.

Honor with Books

Want to celebrate a loved one, colleague, or friend who has/had a passion for knowledge and reading? The Honor with Books program enables you to recognize an individual through a permanent contribution to the J. Murrey Atkins book or e-book collection that will support learning, research, and teaching for years to come. Each gift features a bookplate in the Library’s catalog. The appropriate subject specialist librarian will select a book or e-book matching the criteria you provide (normally a topical area). Honor with Books presents a unique opportunity for you to purchase a memorable and enduring gift to honor the individual you wish to celebrate and simultaneously make an impact on learning and research at UNC Charlotte.

  • Minimum of $150 per gift
  • Establish an endowment: $25,000

If you would like to participate in Honor with Books, please visit UNC Charlotte’s Make a Gift page and follow these instructions:

  • Click on the Access & Opportunity box
  • Click Library
  • Click Honor with Books Fund
  • Click one of the boxes on the right for payment

If you prefer to send a check, please make it payable to “Atkins Library” and send it to: Atkins Library UNC Charlotte – Gift Processing Office 9201 University City Blvd Charlotte, NC 28223-0001

If you would like to discuss the Honor with Books program, or other ways to contribute to the collections, facilities, technologies, services, or programs of Atkins Library, please contact Betty Ladner by email or call 704-687-5001.

If you would like to give an unrestricted monetary gift in any amount, please visit UNC Charlotte’s Make a Gift page and follow these instructions:

  1. Click on the Access & Opportunity box
  2. Click Library
  3. Click Atkins Library Fund
  4. Click one of the boxes on the right for payment

If you prefer to send a check, please make it payable to “Atkins Library” and send it to:

Atkins Library
UNC Charlotte – Gift Processing Office
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28223-0001

If you would like to discuss other ways to contribute to the collections, facilities, technologies, services, or programs of Atkins Library that support our students, faculty, and researchers, please contact Betty Ladner by email or call 704-687-5001.

Giving to the Library