Gifts of Library Materials

Due to limited resources and space, UT Libraries staff must be highly selective in evaluating and accepting donations of library materials.

Materials We Will Consider

The Libraries accept only materials that fit within the Libraries’ current needs and scope.  We will consider materials that are unique, rare, and contextually significant, or that provide enhanced opportunities for scholarship, teaching and learning.  

Please contact the appropriate Subject Specialist to propose a donation. All proposals should be accompanied by an inventory of the materials being offered.  Donations must be approved by the appropriate subject specialist before they are accepted by the UT Libraries or any of its branches. If the proposed gift is large, we also ask that the donor consider making a monetary gift to help offset the costs of processing the materials.

In order to make the most effective use of resources, the Libraries reserve the right to determine the final disposition of all donated materials.


Paperwork for most donations is minimal.  For larger collections that require an appraisal, or ones that involve copyright conveyance or special conditions, a Deed of Gift form should be completed.

The UT Libraries cannot provide donors with valuations of materials due to conflict-of-interest rules.  Donors are advised to contact a tax adviser or visit the IRS web site for details of taking a tax deduction.  Any in-kind donation valued at $5000 or more will require an appraisal by a qualified appraiser.

Materials We Typically Don’t Accept

The Libraries in many cases can no longer accept unsolicited gifts of general-interest library materials. We normally decline to consider donations such as:

  • academic publications that are widely held in U.S. libraries
  • duplicate copies of materials already in the collection
  • mass market books
  • periodicals and magazines (printed)
  • newspapers
  • textbooks (college-level; except for current editions used in courses)
  • unsolicited estate donations
  • walk-in donations or unapproved “drop-offs”

Special Cases:

  • Personal libraries (including those housed in faculty offices):  Donors should consult well in advance with the relevant Subject Specialist.  Library staff are not able to do “office cleanouts.”
  • Collections from other campus units:  Units must consult with the relevant Subject Specialist(s) and other library staff before making a proposal to transfer a collection.  These proposals must be approved by the Library Administration.

Other Ways to Support the UT Libraries

Please consider reviewing our Giving Pages to learn about other ways to support the UT Libraries and our mission.