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Gifts of Materials

The University of Maryland Libraries welcome gifts of books and other materials that strengthen the collections and support the instructional and research programs of the university.

Many of the University Libraries' most treasured, rare and valuable resources were donated by friends and colleagues. Within the Special Collections, these donations include:

Types of Materials Selected for Donation

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, archival material, personal papers and manuscripts, photographs, architectural drawings, microforms, 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 collections.

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 collections.

  • Good condition copies of older publications 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 in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Slavic, Western European languages and Yiddish
  • 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 broadcasting
  • Primary source material, like manuscripts and archives

Donors of rare and/or specialized materials will be directed to a special collection's archivist, curator or librarian. 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 collections.

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.

Once a gift is accepted, it becomes 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 materials to its collections, or use them for sale or exchange.

The University Libraries also encourage monetary support to cover the costs of processing larger collections selected. Timely processing and handling of materials requiring special treatment are especially dependent on additional resources. A written inventory is required of all donations.

How to Make a Donation

Gifts to the University Libraries can be donated by contacting Kristy McDermott at knrobb@umd.edu.

Appraisal of a Gift

By law, the University Libraries may not provide appraisals or valuations of gifts to donors or potentials donors.  Donors who wish to have an appraisal completed must contact and secure an independent appraiser. The University Libraries can provide donors with a list of appraisers in their area.

Acknowledgments

Gifts to the University Libraries will be acknowledged in writing and reported to the Board of Regents. 

Tax Deductible Gifts

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 the donor.  Donors may wish to refer to the IRS Department of the Treasury publication, "Determining the Value of Donated Property" (pdf, html), Publication 561 in the IRS Forms and Publication Series

The University Libraries do not provide tax advice.  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 the form. 

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