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Donating Books and Other Materials Policy 

The Yale University Library welcomes gifts of books and other cultural heritage materials that extend and complement existing collections.  Because of the high cost of storage and processing, the Library is unable to accept all donations.  Although exceptions may be made for rare and unique items, materials that fall outside of our collecting policy generally include:

  • Textbooks
  • Popular fiction/trade hardcover and paperbacks
  • Popular magazines
  • Issues of periodicals (exceptions may be in made in special circumstances)
  • Titles the Library already owns (exceptions may be made in special circumstances)

Conditions of Acceptance

Gifts are accepted with the understanding that they become the property of Yale University upon receipt and that the Library may make all necessary decisions as to their retention, location, cataloging, and other considerations relating to their use and disposition.  Materials accepted but not added to the Library collections may be exchanged with other libraries throughout the world, sold, or disposed of through charitable organizations, or other means.  We regret we are not able to accept drop-offs of large amounts of gift materials unless prior arrangements have been made.

All gifts will be reviewed by an appropriate curator or subject specialist prior to acceptance by the Library. Donors must provide a signed letter expressing their desire to give their materials to the library. Donors are encouraged to include the following information in their letter.

  • Donor name and contact information
  • The type of material (i.e., books, photographs, etc.)
  • A brief description of each item (in case of books, author, title, publisher and date of publication)

In-kind gifts to the Yale University Library may provide you with federal and state income tax benefits.  In accordance with IRS regulations, the Library cannot appraise any donations, however a letter of acknowledgement for volumes donated to the library will be sent to each donor. This letter may be used for income tax purposes. Donors wishing to claim a tax deduction may want to consult with their income tax preparer or the U.S. Internal Revenue Service for the proper procedure.

Contacting the Library

If you are considering a gift to the Yale University Library or have a question, please contact Alan Solomon, Head of Humanities Collections and Research Education:  (203) 432-1778 or alan.solomon@yale.edu.  Donors wishing to give rare or unique material to the Library are encouraged to contact the appropriate Yale special collection directly.

For additional information about giving to the Yale University Library, please visit the Library Development homepage.

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