The French Institute continues to acquire material within the scope of its mission. The director makes relevant purchases within the limitations of the annual budget. The Institute also accepts donations from institutions and individuals.
Donations normally consist of publications and archival documents, although artifacts are occasionally included. If the Institute is unable to display or store artifacts properly, they may be offered to the Museum of Work and Culture in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. Publications are examined to ensure that they fall within the Institute’s purview and to identify duplicata.
Any donated work listed in the French Institute or d’Alzon Library catalogues is considered to be a duplicate. Although the d’Alzon collection circulates freely and the Institute collection does not, space constraints prevent the Institute from acquiring books that are already available at Assumption College.
D'Alzon Library's collection includes the personal library of Major Edmond Mallet (1842-1907), a Franco-American Civil War veteran from Oswego, N.Y., who served as Inspector General for Indian Affairs under President Grover Cleveland. In 1913, six years after Major Mallet's death, L'Union Saint-Jean-Baptiste d’Amérique, a society dedicated to Franco-Americans and French-Canadian ancestry, acquired the collection. In March 2004, the U.S.J.B., now part of Catholic Financial Life, gifted the collection to Emmanuel d’Alzon Library. Items in the Mallet Collection do not circulate.
Out-of-scope materials are those that do not pertain directly to the Institute’s goal of documenting the French presence in North America, particularly New England. Continental French literature, history, and theological writings are considered out-of-scope unless they deal specifically with North American themes. French-Canadian and French-Caribbean literarture and history are considered relevant; however, they have a lower priority than materials relating to New England.
Duplicates and out-of-scope materials will be offered to other institutions or individuals, either for sale or free of charge, whenever possible. Remaining materials will be discarded. In the past, such materials have been acquired by the d’Alzon Library, Brown University, Yale University, the University of Southern Maine, the University of Maine at Orono, the Université Sainte-Anne, the French American Genealogical Society, and La Librairie Populaire of Manchester, New Hampshire, among others.