Material and In-Kind Donations: Policies and Guidelines

Acquisitions Policy

The purpose of the Center for the History of Family Medicine is to serve as the principal repository for the collection, conservation, exhibition, and study of materials relating to the history of general practice and the specialty of family medicine in the United States.

To accomplish this goal, there are three major areas of acquisition upon which CHFM focuses:

  • Official records of major family medicine organizations, including, but not limited to, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation (AAFP/F), the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM), the Association of Departments of Family Medicine (ADFM), the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors (AFMRD), the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG), and the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM). It includes any organization's predecessors and successors.
  • Personal and professional papers and other materials of individuals involved in the development and evolution of family medicine. CHFM is interested in materials that directly pertain to those individuals' roles within the specialty of family medicine.
  • Materials that document the history and evolution of the role of the family physician in American society.
    The Center for the History of Family Medicine does not target records that pertain to medicine in general or materials that focus on specialties other than family medicine. However, if there is a logical connection or relationship between these materials and family medicine, consideration will be given to acquiring the materials.

Types of materials considered for inclusion in the History Center include textual records such as personal papers and office files, photographs and other visual records, maps and plans, sound recordings, video recordings, and electronic records of all types and formats. Pertinent artifacts may be accepted, especially if they are appropriate for exhibits or displays. Library materials such as books and periodicals from outside organizations may be accepted if they exhibit relevancy to family medicine and its organizations, individuals, and programs. Some library materials may be retained for reference use by CHFM staff and researchers even if they do not have a direct relationship to family medicine.

In order to be accepted by the History Center, material must meet the following qualifications:

  • It must fall within the primary focus of acquisition as outlined above.
  • If the original custodian requires retention of the material for a certain period of time, the retention period must have elapsed.
  • It must undergo appraisal and be recommended for acquisition by CHFM staff.
  • It must not be considered a loan to the History Center.
  • The donor must have legal authority to donate the material.
  • It must not be accompanied by severe and/or permanent restrictions.
  • It must be given to CHFM either through gift, donation, deed, transfer, or otherwise.

Donation Suggestions

The Center for the History of Family Medicine (CHFM) seeks in-kind and monetary donations. Suggested types of materials CHFM is looking for are listed below. If you have something you would like to donate to the CHFM which relates to the history of family medicine in America and do not find it on this list, please contact the History Center.

  • Architectural renderings of family physician offices and buildings
  • Artifacts such as medical bags, clothing, instruments and other implements used by family physicians.
  • Artifacts such as family medicine organizations' jewelry, membership pins, clothing with the organizations' logo, etched glassware, souvenirs, etc.
  • Audio and video recordings pertaining to family medicine or family physicians.
  • Books relating to the history of the specialty and those written by or about family physicians
  • Correspondence, financial records, histories, minutes, reports, publications, newsletters, etc. of the principal family medicine organizations and their constituent chapters and groups. This includes, but is not limited to, AAFP and its constituent chapters, AAFP/F, ABFM, ADFM, AFMRD, NAPCRG and STFM.
  • Ephemera such as advertising cards, calling cards or business cards, trade catalogs, brochures, post cards, menus, tickets, posters, programs, signs, award certificates, invitations, catalogs, etc. relating to family medicine.
  • Legal documents
  • Membership lists and directories
  • News clippings
  • Oral histories
  • Paintings, drawings, caricatures, statues, cross-stitch designs, etc., in any type of media that document the public's perception of family physicians
  • Personal and professional papers of family physicians and family medicine educators
  • Photographs
  • Reports and speeches
  • Scrapbooks

Once accepted into the collections, all donations to CHFM are preserved in accordance with professional archival and museum standards.

Monetary contributions to CHFM also help to further the important work of the History Center in documenting the story of Family Medicine and are used in a variety of ways such as:

  • The design of displays and exhibits that highlight the history of the specialty
  • Repair and conservation of fragile materials
  • Appraisal and cataloging of office records and personal papers to facilitate access to the information therein
  • Online access to CHFM collections
  • Oral history interviews

Guidelines for the Donation of Personal and Professional Papers and Memorabilia

As a donor to the Center for the History of Family Medicine (CHFM), you and your family can play a vital role in contributing to the preservation of the history of family medicine. Your personal papers, professional records and memorabilia, or those of a relative or colleague can be invaluable in helping to document the history of Family Medicine in a specific community, during a certain time period, in an area within the discipline, or within a diverse ethnic group or minority. These records can also help us understand the American public's changing perception of the family physician.

Your donation may also help to fill a gap in the History Center's collections. By donating to our collections, you might add new information to the specialty's history or you might contribute the exact publication, photograph or set of records that the History Center needs to complete a piece of Family Medicine's historical puzzle.

No donation is too large or too small to help tell family medicine's story on the home front, in the hospital, in the classroom, in the boardroom, or on the battlefield. Whatever your personal involvement is in the discipline, your records may be important additions to the History Center.

Examples of materials appropriate for CHFM include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Artifacts such as medical instruments and other items used in practice, including both serious or humorous depictions of the family physician in all types of media, clothing, awards, glassware, jewelry, souvenirs, etc., as long as it has an association with family medicine
  • Autobiographies and biographies of other family physicians
  • Books written by or about family physicians or about family medicine
  • Clippings from newspapers or magazines about family physicians or the specialty
  • Files that document the establishment of your family practice or that of others
  • Files that document your involvement in the education of medical students or residents such as textbooks, syllabi, lecture notes, files, etc.
  • Files that document your service to family medicine organizations (AAFP, AAFP/F, ABFM, ADFM, AFMRD, NAPCRG, and STFM are examples)
  • Files that document particular subjects significant to family medicine or primary care
  • Histories of communities that include references to you, your practice, and/or the practice of family medicine in general
  • Journals or diaries kept by family physicians
  • Newsletters, brochures, or other informational material you have given your patients
  • Photographs of you and your colleagues with your patients, in clinics, offices, hospitals, classrooms, and/or in the service of your country

The Center for the History of Family Medicine provides an ideal environment for the storage and preservation of important materials relating to the history of the discipline. It maintains a climate and humidity-controlled environment for the preservation of its collections, houses its materials in acid-free containers to protect against the ravages of mold, mildew, acidity and light and has professional staff trained in the conservation of archives, library and museum materials.

CHFM recommends that your personal and professional papers and memorabilia should be considered for donation to us when they are no longer used on a regular basis (usually after three to five years). When in doubt, contact the Center for an appraisal of your records.

Procedures for Donating Your Papers to CHFM

  1. Contact the History Center staff first. CHFM staff will evaluate your material to determine if it is appropriate to include in the Center's collections.
  2. If CHFM staff determines that the material is appropriate and you want to make the donation, please complete and sign a Deed of Gift form. Be sure to include an originally signed copy of this form with your donation.
  3. Pack the material neatly in strong boxes with lids. Seal the boxes completely with packing tape. (Folders should be placed in the boxes with labels showing). Never "cram" material in a box. If necessary, use multiple boxes. If the last box is not full, wad up tissue paper or newspaper to fill the remaining space so materials don't fall out of the folders. The best kind of box to use is a 15" x 12" x 10" records storage carton that has handles and a lid. If at all possible, use the same size boxes because they will stack much more efficiently and are easier to mail or ship if necessary.
    Include a listing of folder titles or items in each box and keep one copy of this listing for your records.
  4. Provide identification for unmarked items, such as photographs or medical instruments. In the case of unidentified photographs, do not mark on the back of the photographs. Instead, write the description of the photograph on a separate piece of paper and place the paper behind the photograph it describes. Alternatively, label images with a Post-It note on the back. For photographs of many people, photocopy the image and write the name of each person on the photocopy. (Please note: photographic negatives are just as important, if not more so, than the photographs because the best possible copies can be made from the original negative. If they are available, please send negatives to us along with the photographs.)
  5. If you are in the Kansas City metro area, you can drop off your donation at the Center at AAFP Headquarters, located at 11400 Tomahawk Creek Parkway in Leawood, Kansas. For security purposes, please do not make deliveries without telling the History Center staff that you are coming. If you are outside of the metro Kansas City area, ship your donation using a reliable carrier. If some material is fragile, have items professionally packaged and request tracking and/or insurance. If you have any questions, please contact the Center.
  6. Please note that we cannot accept donations of any expired medications or controlled substances. Please remove these items before donating any materials to the Center.

Guidelines for the Transfer of Materials from AAFP Constituent Chapters

As a constituent chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians, your role in preserving your records has significance for the local, regional and national history of the specialty. Your AAFP constituent chapter has a unique history. It is important that you preserve any artifacts, records and other material that your chapter has generated over the years. Your AAFP constituent chapter's records of enduring historical value are an important piece of family medicine's historical "puzzle."

The Center for the History of Family Medicine (CHFM) actively collects, organizes, preserves and provides access to the records of seven of the leading family medicine organizations as well as the personal and professional papers of family physicians and family medicine educators, family medicine departments and residency programs.

The History Center is administered by the AAFP Foundation and is located on the fourth floor of the AAFP headquarters building in Leawood, Kansas, just outside of Kansas City, Missouri.The Center provides an ideal environment for the storage and preservation of your materials. It maintains a secure, climate-controlled environment for preservation and provides specialized care by professional staff trained in archival and museum methodology.

CHFM recommends that your records be considered for transfer to us once they are no longer used on a regular basis (usually after three to five years). Materials of enduring historical value that should be preserved include administrative, fiscal, historical and legal records. When in doubt, contact the History Center staff for an appraisal of your records. This can be done in person, over the phone or by email.

Examples of chapter materials appropriate for CHFM include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Annual reports
  • Artifacts (medical equipment and utensils, doctor's bags and lab coats, badges, pins from annual meetings, souvenirs from meetings or special events, etc.)
  • Clippings about your chapter and its members
  • Constitutions and by-laws
  • Histories (about your chapter)
  • Incorporation papers
  • Lists of chapter annual meetings
  • Lists of chapter officers, directors and staff
  • Meeting programs
  • Membership directories and handbooks
  • Minutes of Board meetings
  • Newsletters, journals and other publications
  • Pamphlets and brochures
  • Photographs of chapter events
  • Recordings (audio and visual) of chapter events
  • Reports of special projects
  • Surveys conducted among your members

Note: In many cases, the original copies of documents should be retained at chapter headquarters. Documents such as Constitutions and By-Laws, Articles of Incorporation, and legal documents regarding your chapter's tax status should be kept on-site. However, it is recommended that chapters place copies of these documents in the History Center to document important historical dates in your chapter's history and to have a back-up copy on file in case of emergency.

Procedures for Transferring Your Department's or Residency's Records

  1. Contact the History Center staff first. CHFM staff will evaluate your material to determine if it is appropriate to include in the Center's collections.
  2. Pack the material neatly in strong boxes with lids. Seal the boxes completely with packing tape. (Folders should be placed in the boxes with labels showing). Never "cram" material in a box. If necessary, use multiple boxes. If the last box is not full, wad up tissue paper or newspaper to fill the remaining space so materials don't fall out of the folders. The best kind of box to use is a 15" x 12" x 10" records storage carton that has handles and a lid. If at all possible, use the same size boxes because they will stack much more efficiently and are easier to mail or ship if necessary.
    Include a listing of folder titles or items in each box and keep one for yourself.
  3. Provide identification for unmarked items, such as photographs, artifacts or medical instruments. In the case of unidentified photographs, do not mark on the back of the photographs. Instead, write the description of the photograph on a separate piece of paper and place the paper behind the photograph it describes. Alternatively, label images with a Post-It note on the back of each one. For photographs of many people, photocopy the image and write the name of each person directly on the photocopy. (Please note: photographic negatives are just as important, if not more so, than the photographs because the best possible copies can be made from the original negative. If they are available, please send negatives to us along with the photographs.)
  4. If you are in the metro Kansas City area, you can drop off your donation at the Center at AAFP Headquarters, located at 11400 Tomahawk Creek Parkway in Leawood, Kansas. For security purposes, please do not make deliveries without telling the History Center staff that you are coming.
  5. If material is coming from outside the metro Kansas City area, ship your donation using a reliable carrier. If some material is fragile, have these items professionally packaged and request tracking and/or insurance. If you have any questions, please contact the History Center.

Guidelines for the Transfer of Materials from Family Medicine Organizations

As a Family Medicine organization, your role in preserving the history of Family Medicine is important. The Center for the History of Family Medicine (CHFM) actively collects, organizes, preserves and provides access to the records of the following organizations which have designated CHFM as the repository of their records of enduring historical value: the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation (AAFP/F), the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM), the Association of Departments of Family Medicine (ADFM), the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors (AFMRD), the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG), and the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM). CHFM also seeks and welcomes the records of other Family Medicine organizations. The History Center is administered by the AAFP Foundation and is located on the fourth floor of the AAFP headquarters building in Leawood, Kansas, just outside of Kansas City, Missouri.

Your Family Medicine organization is an integral part of the history of Family Medicine. While there are many similarities among the various organizations, each has a specific, unique mission and story to tell. It is vital that the documents and artifacts relating to your organization's establishment, daily operations, special programs, annual events and important decisions be preserved. The Center for the History of Family Medicine provides an ideal environment for your materials. It maintains a secure, climate-controlled environment for preservation and provides specialized care by professional staff trained in archival and museum methodology.

CHFM recommends that your records be considered for transfer to us when they are no longer used on a regular basis (usually after three to five years). Materials of permanent historical value that should be preserved include administrative, fiscal, historical and legal records. When in doubt, contact History Center staff for an appraisal of your records. This can be done in person, over the phone or by email.

Examples of an organization's records appropriate for CHFM include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Annual reports
  • Architectural records and photographs
  • Artifacts (medical equipment and utensils, doctor's bags and lab coats, badges, pins from annual meetings, souvenirs from meetings or special events, etc.
  • Awards and certificates
  • By-laws and revisions
  • Correspondence
  • Directories and handbooks
  • Electronic media, including CD-ROMs, containing special projects or publications
  • Financial statements
  • Histories
  • Incorporation records
  • Legal documents, including contracts, testimonies and correspondence
  • Materials relating to staff business or functions (anniversary, holiday and retirement parties) such as newsletters, all-staff agendas and minutes, photographs, invitations, etc.
  • Meeting programs
  • Membership Directories
  • Minutes and agendas of meetings (boards, committees, task forces, etc.)
  • Monographs
  • Newsletters, publications, pamphlets and brochures
  • Organizational charts and staff directories
  • Photographs and negatives
  • Policy manuals
  • Press releases
  • Reports of special projects
  • Special bulletins
  • Speeches and presentations
  • Subject files relating to projects such as: planning documents, significant correspondence, grant proposals, program budgets and program evaluations
  • Surveys
  • Three-dimensional objects
  • Video and audio recordings
  • White papers

Procedures for Transferring Your Organization's Records

  • Contact the History Center staff first. CHFM staff will evaluate your material to determine if it is appropriate to include in the Center's collections.
  • Pack the material neatly in strong boxes with lids. Seal the boxes completely with packing tape. (Folders should be placed in the boxes with labels showing). Never "cram" material in a box. If necessary, use multiple boxes. If the last box is not full, wad up tissue paper or newspaper to fill the remaining space so materials don't fall out of the folders. The best kind of box to use is a 15" x 12" x 10" records storage carton that has handles and a lid. If at all possible, use the same size boxes because they will stack much more efficiently and are easier to mail or ship if necessary.
    Include a listing of folder titles or items in each box and keep one for yourself.
  • Provide identification for unmarked items, such as photographs, artifacts or medical instruments. In the case of unidentified photographs, do not mark on the back of the photographs. Instead, write the description of the photograph on a separate piece of paper and place each paper behind the photograph it describes. Alternatively, label images with a Post-It note on the back of each one. For photographs of many people, photocopy the image and write the name of each person directly on the photocopy. (Please note: photographic negatives are just as important, if not more so, than the photographs because the best possible copies can be made from the original negative. If they are available, please send negatives to us along with the photographs.)
  • If material is at AAFP/F headquarters in Leawood, Kansas, transfer it to us in any of the following ways:
    Call the Help Line and place a request for the boxes to be delivered to the History Center (AAFP Foundation offices on the 4th floor)
  • Deliver the boxes to us in person. For security purposes, please do not make deliveries without telling the History Center staff that you are coming.
  • If you have a small number of folders to transfer to CHFM, call us and we will come and pick them up.
  • If material is coming from outside the metro Kansas City area, ship your donation by using a reliable carrier. If some material is fragile, have these items professionally packaged and request tracking and/or insurance. If you have any questions, please contact the History Center.

Guidelines for the Transfer of Materials from FM Departments and Residency Programs

As one of Family Medicine's departments or residency programs, your role in preserving the history of Family Medicine is very important both in preserving the past and pointing to the future. Each Family Medicine department and residency program has a unique history. Together, these histories tell the story of the struggles, triumphs, and challenges that took place in setting up and directing each program. It is therefore vital that steps be taken to preserve the documents and artifacts of your department or residency program.

The Center for the History of Family Medicine (CHFM) is interested in collecting, organizing, preserving, and providing access to materials that document the development and evolution of Family Medicine departments in medical schools and Family Medicine residencies. The History Center is administered by the AAFP Foundation and is located on the fourth floor of the AAFP headquarters building in Leawood, Kansas, just outside of Kansas City, Missouri.

CHFM provides an ideal environment for the storage and preservation of your materials. It maintains a secure, climate-controlled environment for preservation and provides specialized care by professional staff trained in archival and museum methodology.

The History Center recommends that your records be considered for transfer to us when they are no longer used on a regular basis (usually after three to five years). Materials of enduring historical value that should be preserved include administrative, fiscal, historical and legal records. When in doubt, contact the History Center staff for an appraisal.This may be done in person, over the phone or by email. Even if there is an archive, library or other historical repository to support preservation of your records, CHFM is interested in obtaining copies of written and/or oral histories and other records to add to its collection.

Examples of materials appropriate for the CHFM include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Annual reports
  • Artifacts or other materials that exhibit activities of the department or residency such as party invitations, buttons, bumper stickers, hats, souvenirs, etc.
  • Clippings about your department or residency
  • Correspondence that documents the development and evolution of your program
  • Histories about your program
  • Lists of former and current directors, faculty and alumni
  • Newsletters and other publications produced by your department/residency
  • Pamphlets and brochures that advertise your program
  • Photographs of department/residency activities, faculty, staff and students
  • Reports of special projects

Procedures for Transferring Your Department's or Residency's Records:

  1. Contact the History Center staff first. CHFM staff will evaluate your material to determine if it is appropriate to include in the Center's collections.
  2. Pack the material neatly in strong boxes with lids. Seal the boxes completely with packing tape. (Folders should be placed in the boxes with labels showing). Never "cram" material in a box. If necessary, use multiple boxes. If the last box is not full, wad up tissue paper or newspaper to fill the remaining space so materials don't fall out of the folders. The best kind of box to use is a 15" x 12" x 10" records storage carton that has handles and a lid. If at all possible, use the same size boxes because they will stack much more efficiently and are easier to mail or ship if necessary.
    Include a listing of folder titles or items in each box and keep one for yourself.
  3. Provide identification for unmarked items, such as photographs, artifacts or medical instruments. In the case of unidentified photographs, do not mark on the back of the photographs. Instead, write the description of the photograph on a separate piece of paper and place each paper behind the photograph it describes. Alternatively, label items with Post-It notes on the back of each image. For photographs with many people, photocopy the image and write the name of each person directly on the photocopy. (Please note: photographic negatives are just as important, if not more so, than the photographs because the best possible copies can be made from the original negative. If they are available, please send negatives to us along with the photographs.)
  4. If you are in the metro Kansas City area, you can drop off your donation to the Center at AAFP Headquarters, located at 11400 Tomahawk Creek Parkway in Leawood, Kansas. For security purposes, please do not make deliveries without telling the History Center staff that you are coming.
  5. If material is coming from outside the metro Kansas City area, ship your donation by using a reliable carrier. If some material is fragile, have these items professionally packaged and request tracking and/or insurance. If you have any questions, please contact the History Center.

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