Information about Donations
Each year the University of Maryland Libraries adds thousands of gift items
to the collections of the seven libraries on campus. Gifts provide invaluable
resources for students, faculty, alumni and friends who depend upon the
University Libraries for teaching, study and research. Gifts help strengthen
holdings and replace lost and damaged books. Many of the University Libraries'
most treasured, rare and valuable resources were donated by friends and
colleagues, such as the Special Collections in Performing
Arts (SCPA), the National Public Broadcasting
Archives and the Katherine Anne Porter
Collection, within the collections of Archives and Manuscripts.
University Libraries appreciate and encourage the donation of library resources
which strengthen the collections and support the University's programs. Gifts
cover vast ranges of subjects and include materials in all formats: books,
archival materials, personal papers and manuscripts, back runs of scholarly
periodicals, sound recordings, scores, films, videotapes, microforms ,
photographs, architectural drawings, optical discs and other machine-readable
material. Gifts-in-kind represent valuable additions that might otherwise be
impossible to obtain through regular or special library funding. Donors of
library materials are among our most valued supporters.
following information pertains to gifts that will be considered for the General
Collections. Donors of rare and/or specialized materials will be directed to a
special collection's archivist or librarian.
University of Maryland Libraries
Acceptance of Gifts to the Libraries
Gifts to the collections of the
University Libraries constitute an important and ongoing source of materials
that support the teaching and research programs of the University. The donation
of books, audio-visual media, archives, manuscripts and a diverse variety of
other items in many formats have served as the foundation of some of our major
circulating and special collections. In other instances these gifts have
significantly enhanced existing purchased holdings and already established
Owing to the large volume of materials received in the past
and the need to exercise the highest selectivity in accepting materials most
relevant to campus academic needs, we provide the following general guidelines
for individuals interested in donating materials to the University Libraries. We
reserve the right to accept or decline materials based on these and other
criteria that serve the best interests of the University and the library
Every effort is made to accept only items appropriate to be
added to the library collections. Items not added may be sold, exchanged with
other libraries, or discarded at the discretion of the University Libraries.
Prospective donors of large collections or personal libraries of an
academic or research nature should provide a list of items available in advance.
Ongoing space constraints do not permit us to keep whole gift collections intact
as physically separate or discrete collections within a publicly accessible
stack area. The University Libraries also encourage monetary assistance to cover
the costs of processing larger collections that are selected for addition.
Timely processing and handling of materials requiring special treatment are
especially dependent on additional resources.
- Current academic or scholarly publications, especially those that have
appeared within the past three years, in disciplines supported by the curriculum
or research of the University
- Good condition copies of older publications that are not currently held and
serve to fill in notable gaps in historic collections. Materials in good
condition are clean, with durable bindings, and do not contain loose, brittle,
stained, marked, or discolored pages
- Specialized research materials, including scientific and technical reports
- Foreign language publications in areas collected by the University
Libraries, primarily Western European languages, Slavic, Hebrew, Chinese,
Japanese, Korean, Arabic, and Farsi
- One-of-a-kind or rare books, special editions of established works, and
other materials that contribute to the subject strengths within special
collections, such as university history, Marylandia, historic preservation, and
- Primary source material (e.g., manuscripts and archives)
Out of Scope and Unacceptable Donations:
As a result of the ever
increasing costs associated with the short-term and long-term storage of gifts
and the associated resources required to sort, review, process, preserve, and
maintain materials, the Libraries cannot accept all in-kind donations. The
following represent categories of materials that fall outside the collecting
scope of the University Libraries:
- Materials that are not relevant to campus instructional and research
programs and collecting areas of the University Libraries (e.g., medicine, law,
- Popular trade/mass market paperbacks
- Popular magazines (e.g., Newsweek, National Geographic)
- Scattered or single issues of journals, magazines, newspapers, newsletters,
- Materials in poor condition, including defaced text. Items that show
evidence of mold, mildew, pests, significant embrittlement, or disrepair are
- Titles already owned, including journal runs, newspaper files, etc. (unless
replacement or additional copies are needed or the copy is a different or
special edition that is useful to add)
- Outdated, superseded titles (e.g., computer manuals)
- Loose or miscellaneous materials that do not meet the categories listed
under desirable donations
- Bulk collections of materials (collections with a substantial proportion of
undesirable materials). Typically these are large collections or personal
libraries of general reading titles with marginal or no academic value. Where
textbooks and other academic materials are also included, these usually are
already more than sufficiently represented in the collections of the University
Staff members should refer ALL potential donations to the Gifts-in-Kind
Coordinator. This staff member acts on behalf of the Dean of Libraries in
recommending to the Board of Regents the acceptance of specific gifts. Gifts are
expected to supplement existing collections in support of the University's
teaching and research programs as well as to provide the University Libraries
with special materials in which there is a scholarly interest. To be accepted,
all gifts must fall within the guidelines of the University Libraries' policies
pertaining to gifts. In short, all in-kind gifts must be initially reviewed and
discussed with the Gifts-in-Kind Coordinator.
Once a gift is accepted, it
becomes the property of the University of Maryland Libraries. Unless formally
agreed upon in a deed of gift between the donor and the University Libraries,
the University Libraries may add gift materials to its collections, or use them
for sale or exchange.
How to Make a Donation
Gifts to the
University Libraries can be donated by contacting the Gifts-in-Kind Coordinator
via email at
or phone on (301) 314-5674.
Appraisal of a Gift
By law, the
University Libraries may not provide appraisals or valuations of gifts to donors
or potential donors. Donors who wish to have an appraisal done, must contact and
secure an independent appraiser. The University Libraries can provide donors
with a list of appraisers in their area.
Acknowledgment of a Gift
Gifts to the University Libraries will be acknowledged in writing and
reported to the Board of Regents.
Usually a gift
of books or other material will qualify as a deduction for income tax purposes.
The responsibility for establishing the fair market value of an item lies with
Donors may wish to refer to the IRS Department of the Treasury
publication, "Determining the Value of Donated
Property (pdf)," Publication 561 in the IRS Forms and Publications series.
Although the University Libraries do not purport to give tax advice,
generally speaking, a donor seeking to claim a deduction for a gift (s) valued
at $500 or more in one calendar year must file an IRS Form 8283. For gifts
valued at $5,000 or more, an appraiser must complete the appropriate section of
If you think it is necessary to obtain an appraisal, you must
pay for it. An appraisal fee qualifies as a miscellaneous deduction for tax
purposes. You may wish to consult your personal attorney or tax advisor for
further information and advice.
Delivery of Donated Material
With advance notice to and approval by the Gifts-in-Kind Office, we are
happy to receive donations of materials. Please call (301) 314-5674 to make
arrangements for the delivery. All materials should be boxed with the donor's
name and address included inside the box. This information is necessary for
purposes of acknowledgment.