G. William Jones Film & Video Collection

G. William Jones Film & Video Collection

Policy Statement

Information for Prospective Donors

Thank you for your interest in the G. William Jones Film & Video Collection. We are always happy to discuss a prospective gift of moving images or related materials and its potential appropriateness to SMU collections. We are also grateful for direct financial support. The Jones Collection receives no funding from SMU's operating budget. Your contribution can make a tremendous difference in preserving moving images and related materials.

Because the Jones Collection has limited resources, it cannot accept every gift that is offered. If the Jones Collection is unable to accept a gift, staff may be able to help with referrals to other archives.

Please read our Collection Development policy carefully before contacting us at filmarchive@smu.edu.

Collection Development Policy

The G. William Jones Film and Video Collection is a department of the Hamon Arts Library, which is a branch of Central University Libraries at Southern Methodist University. Policies of the Jones Collection may defer to or be superseded by policies of these parent structures.

The principal purpose of the Jones Collection is to support education through the study, preservation, and presentation of moving images. To this end, the Collection maintains moving images in a wide variety of formats, examples of related equipment, print materials associated with moving images, and a climate-controlled storage facility. Significant holdings include films made by and for African Americans from the 1930s through the 1950s, pre-nickelodeon silent films, classical Hollywood cinema, educational film, news film and video, and moving images documenting the activities of Southern Methodist University.

The head of the Jones Collection, in consultation with the director of the Hamon Arts Library, is responsible for the development and preservation of collections. Materials are acquired through select donations rather than by purchase. The Collection has limited resources and cannot accept every gift that is offered. Donations are accepted based on their relevance to curriculum, research, and pre-existing SMU collections, as well as condition of the materials, availability of storage space and preservation funds, and other discretionary criteria. Gifts that include funds for processing and preservation are preferred. If the Jones Collection is unable to accept a gift, staff may be able to help with referrals to other archives. Materials will not be accepted without completion of a donation agreement or other legal documentation.

Materials that do not reflect the collecting scope of the Jones Collection or that do not possess sufficient archival value may be de-accessioned at any time, subject to the discretion of the Collection head.

The Jones Collection no longer accepts deposits (materials for which ownership is not transferred to the Jones Collection) or storage clients from outside the university.

The Jones Collection does not accept home movies except for those that are relevant to Southern Methodist University history or other University collections. Home movie donors should contact the Texas Archive of the Moving Image or the Center for Home Movies.

The Jones Collection does not provide appraisal services or tax advice. For information on tax deductions relative to donations, please consult an accountant. Also see the IRS Publication 561.

Questions we may ask about prospective donations of materials

  • What is the name and contact information for the prospective donor?
  • What is a general description of the gift's contents?
  • What are the facts of authorship, production dates, etc.?
  • What is the known history of ownership?
  • Does the donor intend to make an outright gift of the materials or to deposit them?
  • Does the donor hold intellectual property rights, physical ownership, or both?
  • If the donor owns the intellectual property rights, would those be included with the gift of materials?
  • What is the quantity of materials?
  • What formats are included in the gift?
  • What percentage of the total quantity is made up of each format?
  • What is the condition of the materials?
  • Under what conditions have the materials been stored?
  • What types of containers would accompany the materials?
  • Can the donor provide an inventory of the prospective gift materials?
  • Does the donor intend to make conditions or restrictions on the gift?
  • Would the gift include any funds for processing, preservation, containers, etc.?
  • In what way are the materials unique or rare?
  • In what way are the materials relevant to SMU curriculum and research?