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Guidelines for Gifts

Types of Materials We Accept

The UC Davis Library appreciates offers of donated materials that will enrich existing collections and support the teaching, research, and patient care mission of the university. Due to space limitations, as well as the costs of processing and managing gifts of physical items, the library must be selective about the materials we accept.

Please review the donation guidelines and processes below if you have materials you wish to offer to the library.

Rare, Historical and Unique Items

The library’s Archives and Special Collections will consider donations of:

  • Historical manuscript and photograph collections
  • Local history collections
  • Business records, particularly related to agriculture and viticulture and enology
  • Rare and unique books
  • Pamphlets and serials
  • Born-digital materials
  • Other distinctive items

Determining whether an item or collection will be appropriately placed in our Archives and Special Collections requires careful review of the items’ provenance or history, and its possible uses for our faculty, students and researchers.

Please also see the information on Value, Appraisal and Taxes below. Then send a description of the rare or historical item(s) you wish to donate to Kevin Miller, Head of Archives and Special Collections, at

Material from UC Davis Faculty, Researchers, Departments and Campus Units

University Archives

We work with UC Davis faculty, staff and researchers to preserve their most important and influential works in the University Archives.

We also welcome historical archives and records from UC Davis administrative offices, campus organizations, and student groups.

Please also see the information on Value, Appraisal and Taxes below. Then contact Kevin Miller, Head of Archives and Special Collections, at to discuss the UC Davis research or records you wish to transfer to the University Archives.

Other Types of Materials

Other materials that UC Davis faculty and researchers may have that are of particular interest to the library include:

  • Technical reports
  • Unpublished conference proceedings

Please review the General Collection Guidelines below for an outline of the donation process for these other materials, including how to submit a list of the items you wish to donate.

  • To streamline your list, consider leaving out books published by major academic publishers (in English), as it is likely we already have these in our collection.
  • For items the library can’t accept, in addition to the Other Donation Options described at the bottom of this page, faculty and 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.

General Collection Materials

Items we will consider:

The library appreciates offers of donated materials that complement our existing collections.

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 over five years old
    • Most items aimed at a popular audience or better suited to a public library

Value, Appraisal and Taxes

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 believe your total potential donation would be valued at over $5,000, please indicate the value of each item on the list of titles you submit (see next section) or consider contacting us directly at for rare, historical and unique items or for general collection items.

How to Donate General Collection Materials

To offer materials for the library’s general collections, please follow these steps:       

1. Create a 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. Submit your list

Please send your list of potential donation items via mail or email. The list can be in the body of the email or an attachment (text, Word document, spreadsheet, Google Doc/Sheet, etc.)  If you have a large number of items, or unique, rare, distinctive or older items, consider contacting us first for advice before developing your list:

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

3. Library review

We will contact you after reviewing your list against our collection. 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. With the exception of major donations that involve our development team, we typically cannot provide postage or pick up/transport donations.

Other Donation Options

For materials the UC Davis Library does not accept, you may wish to consider:

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