Donors to the AALT

Gifts to the AALT are easy to make, whether they are outright gifts, gifts made for a particular or new series, or gifts made to adopt a series already acquired. The WAALT is a subset of the AALT, so a gift to subsidize the WAALT must be made to the AALT. Gifts to the AALT are made to the University of Houston Law Center for the AALT fund, so that we can take advantage of the security of the UH development site. Instructions for that are below. In all cases, it is good to notify the administrator of the AALT ( that you are giving, at least so that you can be acknowledged on the AALT donor page; listing donors not only honors the donor but encourages others to give. Gifts to facilitate a particular series or purpose have to be negotiated in advance because the AALT is governed by the licence from TNA and works with vendors, not employees. Many but not all things are possible. We want to increase our acquisition rate, so we try to make possible what donors want.

Remember that the AALT is able to do so much for so little because we do not hire people; everything after the taking of the pictures goes through just one person. Normally you will be answered promptly, but life situations might intervene.

Charitable Gift Benefit
US citizens, of course, receive a charitable tax deduction (see final paragraph below). UK tax authorities, however, do not give a similar benefit for gifts to U.S. entities. We have developed a mechanism, already approved by the UK tax authorities, so that UK citizens can receive the corresponding benefit in the UK. UK residents can make a gift that qualifies as a U.K. charitable gift by making a gift to the Selden Society to further the provision of National Archives documents free online. Such a gift to the Selden Society, a UK charitable organization, will reliably make its way to the AALT. Donors should obtain the Selden Society standard Gift Aid Form (and if they are intending to make regular donations, also for a Bankers Order form) from the Selden Society Secretary:
Mr Michael Lobban
Secretary of the Selden Society
Law Department, London School of Economics
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE

It would be a great help to the AALT to let the AALT administrator know of such gifts when they are made (notify at
Citizens of countries other than the U.S. and U.K. cannot yet donate with charitable tax benefits, but may donate using the process for U.S. citizens.

General Gifts and Adopting Gifts
General gifts and gifts to adopt already acquired material are treated approximately the same. For a general gift, we like to recognize the gift by assigning a particular segment of material as adopted and thus reimbursing the AALT for money expended in its acquisition. The gift will itself then be used to work on the completion of the already licensed material. You may also start with the objective of adopting a particular series or, for a much larger gift, a whole reign. The gift will be treated as a reimbursement for money already expended, and the money acquired will be used to acquire more material from already licensed series. Recognition will be posted on regnal index page at the top. In return the adopted series will move up the priorities for insertion of better navigational markers to make the material more easily usable. All such adoptions have to be agreed on in advance with the administrator ( to avoid duplication. Multi-year commitments are completely acceptable. Please inquire if you have any particular interests.

Gifts to Acquire Material Not in the AALT Licence
Our ability to post material on the AALT site is limited by the licence from The National Archives. We began in 2006 with a licence for 14 series covering 375 years; we now are licensed for 44 series from 1200 to 1902. At this point we are reluctant to get seriously into 19th century material, but that is not out of the question for a substantial gift. For expanding the licence for earlier series, we can apply to TNA, but the process will require additional time; we will try to gather up requests for occasional requests. We cannot handle series that have very large documents, such as early modern charters that would require stitching pictures together, or material like writs that are bound with a thong, because they would have to be unbound and supervised by TNA Conservation in the acquisition (very expensive). Material in rolls, books, or files that have been remade into books are all good for our project. A gift of $1,000 US translates into more than 10,000 pictures: the AALT operates at 1% of the cost of traditional digital projects. Gifts for series that require a lot of document handling (like close rolls that have to be rolled and unrolled twice in the course of acquisition) will cost somewhat more per picture.

To make a gift to the AALT, click here. In the pull down menu that by default indicates "Law Fund", select "other" and in the designated box fill in "AALT Fund". The rest of the process should be very straightforward, but if you encounter problems contact Prior to even trying, you are encouraged to contact the administrator to make sure the purpose of your gift is possible and to ensure proper attribution. Giving does not actually hire personnel to do a job, but it facilitates the AALT in making available desired research material. If you want to pursue a different, more complicated route of hiring someone to digitize material for you that will then be donated also to the AALT, contact the administrator; the status of such a hiring under charitable gift taxation regimes is unclear.