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Book Donations to the University Library

Gifts of scholarly materials to the Library of the University of California at Berkeley have historically represented a significant element in the development of the University's outstanding research collections. The Library will consider with pleasure all gifts of recorded information which meet the instructional and research needs of the Berkeley academic community.

Questions about gifts of books to the Library should be directed to Dirk Kennedy (dkennedy[at] We will make every effort to reply to your inquiry as quickly as possible.

All gift offers receive careful consideration by the Library. Materials appropriate for acceptance are those which enhance the strengths of existing collections, including specialized collections; recently published scholarly monographs in subjects collected by the Library; additional copies of high-use items; or scholarly volumes or sets in subjects collected by the Library but not otherwise owned by the Library. Materials which fall outside the Library's collecting policy, such as outdated textbooks, duplicate copies of rarely used items, materials in poor physical condition, or most journals, are without utility to the Library and thus cannot be accepted.

Donors should be aware that all gifts are accepted with the understanding that upon receipt the University becomes the owner of the material and, as such, reserves the right to determine retention, location, cataloging treatment, and other considerations relating to use or disposition.

Gifts accepted by the Library may serve a variety of purposes. Some are added to collections as first, additional, or replacement copies. Those which cannot be added to Berkeley's holdings may be sent to other academic institutions or sold in the Library Bookstore. Proceeds from sales are an important source of funds for the purchase of new material or the conservation of irreplaceable items.

Appraisal and Tax Considerations

The Library makes written acknowledgement of all gifts accepted. The letter of acknowledgement notes the number of volumes received but does not include a list of the items or an estimate of the value of the gift.

The appraisal of a gift to the Library for income tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor since it is the donor, not the Library, who benefits from the tax deduction. To protect both its donors and itself, the Library, as an interested party, must not appraise gifts made to it. The Library will provide assistance as to sources of information for evaluation purposes and will suggest appropriate professional appraisers who might be consulted. Because of tax considerations, donors may wish to discuss prospective donations and appraisals with their tax advisor.

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