Collection Strategies: Guidelines for Gifts

The UC Davis Library appreciates offers of donations of materials that will enrich existing collections and support the instructional, research, and patient care mission of the university.  Due to the costs of managing gifts of physical items, as well as space and processing limitations, UC Davis Library has created some general guidelines for individuals interested in donating materials, as well as an overview of the donation process.


General GuidelinesValue, Appraisal and TaxesTo Donate MaterialsUC Davis Faculty/ResearchersOther Ways To Give

We generally do not accept items that:

  • are not within the scope of our academic, research, and patient care collections
  • duplicate material already in our collections
  • would require extensive conservation, or are in poor condition
  • entail donor restrictions the Library cannot honor
  • are in these categories:
    • outdated textbooks
    • magazines, commonly available journals, journal article reprints/photocopies
    • medical and health sciences materials older than 5 years
    • most items aimed at a popular audience, or better suited to a public library

Archives and Special Collections: 

For potential donations involving university archives, rare books, manuscripts, personal papers, and other distinctive items, please contact our Archives and Special Collections Dept  

Other Donation Options:

For materials the Library does not accept, you may wish to consider these additional options:



Because federal tax regulations prohibit the Library from giving appraisals or estimates of the value of gifts, appraisals are the responsibility of the donor.  Donors are encouraged to consult a knowledgeable tax expert about current requirements.

Over $5,000:

If you feel your total potential donation would be valued at over $5,000, please be sure to indicate value of each item on the list of titles you submit (see next section) or consider contacting us directly at:

Please follow the process outlined below.         

1) List of Potential Donation Items

Potential donations need to be screened by our Collection Strategies Department before we can accept them.  Please provide a list of items you wish to donate (via email or mail), prior to bringing any materials to the library.  This list should include:

for books:            title, author, year of publication;

for journals:        journal title, year, volume, and issue

Unfortunately, the Library is not able to provide staff to assist with the creation of lists.

2) Submitting Your List

Please send your list of potential donation items to via mail or email.  List can be in the body of email or an attachment (text, word, spreadsheet, google doc/sheet, etc.)  If you have a large number of items, or unique, rare, distinctive, older items: consider contacting us first via email for advice before developing your list


UC Davis Library,  Collection Strategies Dept
100 NW Quad
University of California, Davis,
Davis, CA 95616

3) Review 

After reviewing your list against our collection, we will contact you with additional information. If we are able to accept some or all or your potential donation items we will provide instructions for how to mail or drop off your donation items.  We ask that donors fill out and sign a brief “Deed of Gift Form to the Regents of the University of California” form.  With the exception of major donations that involve our development program, we typically cannot: provide postage, or pick up/transport donations.

Materials that UC Davis faculty and researchers might have that are of particular interest to the library include:

  • technical reports
  • unpublished conference proceedings
  • personal papers
  • university archives

Please review the  To Donate Materials section for an outline of the donation process, and how to submit a list of your items. If listing all potential donation items seems too imposing – faculty might consider leaving out books published by major academic publishers (in English) – it is likely that we already have these in our collection.

For items the library can’t accept, in addition to the Guidelines/Other Donation Options listed earlier, faculty/researchers might consider making items available within their departments (in a publicly available area) indicating they are free.  Often graduate and undergraduate students and others will pick them up.

Development of this page benefited from review of similar pages developed by other UC libraries.