History Donation Policy
What is the History Committee looking for in terms of donating a piece of history?
The History Committee is primarily focused on assembling and coordinating information relevant to its history and the history of lawyers in Hamilton. As such, copies of documents, rather than original documents or artifacts, are our focus. The History Committee is all about preserving the rich and unique legal history of Hamilton and its surrounding areas. The Hamilton Law Association, for instance, is one of the oldest in this country (est. 1879) and over the years has had many members - each of whom has contributed to the area's legal history.
Your potential donation, however, doesn't have to be about the Hamilton Law Association or its members - far from it! Your donation could be about a family member who was a lawyer or other member of the profession in the areas surrounding Hamilton. It could even be an old newspaper clipping dealing with a significant piece of legal history, or a famous case, in Hamilton or the surrounding area. Some other items that might be of interest and historical value to the Project could include copies of:
- Family papers or the diary of a member of the Bar relating to Hamilton's or the surrounding area's legal history
- Hamilton Law Association or surrounding area memorabilia - everything from an invite to a dinner hosted by the Hamilton Law Association to Minutes of Meetings from way back when!
- Photos of Hamilton Courthouses, or courthouses in the surrounding area
- Photos of members or members of the profession at work, in court (etc.)
- Photos of law offices, or even members of the profession getting together, back in the day
The best thing to do, if you are uncertain about whether the History Committee might be interested in your potential donation, is to contact a member of the History Committee. That person will be able to give you a sense of whether donating the piece of history you possess is a good fit.
How do I donate my piece of history?
If you have a document, photo or other similar artifact that you wish to donate to the History Committee, we recommend that you first contact a History Committee member. The History Committee member will ask you to describe the piece of history you wish to donate. The Committee will then evaluate the piece for historical significance and contact you to discuss a possible donation of a copy.
Can I just mail in my piece of history to the History Committee?
The short answer is "No." The History Committee needs to get certain information from you before a donation can be made. It is also important for you to learn about what donating a piece of history means with respect to issues like ownership and the possible displaying of the item you wish to provide to the Project. For these reasons, we ask that people first make contact with a member of the History Committee.
Should I donate original items?
No. The Hamilton Law Association is not set up to act as an archive or storage repository, and so the Project is only able to take copies or pictures of items. If you insist on donating original items, we will likely end up taking a copy or a picture and then disposing of the original.
Can I get a tax receipt for my donation?
No. The Hamilton Law Association is not a registered charity under the Income Tax Act, and so it cannot issue donation receipts.
Does the History Committee pay for donations?
Do I get my donation back once the History Committee is done with it?
Yes. In fact, we would prefer to return the item to you once we have made a copy. We will ask you to provide us with a non-exclusive licence to display our copy.