SLU Libraries

Gift Acceptance Policy

Saint Louis University Libraries appreciate, value, and welcome gifts of books, manuscripts, and other library materials that enhance and enrich existing collections as well as support the instructional and research programs of the university. The libraries will consider all offers of books, manuscripts, or other materials that fall within the libraries' collecting policy. Donations will be reviewed by subject specialists in the appropriate field for addition to the collections. The university has benefited greatly from the many generous donations which have contributed to its important research collections. Gifts that support and extend the collecting strengths of the Library's Collection Development Policy are gratefully received.

In general, the University Libraries evaluate offers of donations of library materials based upon:

  • Relevancy to the curricula;
  • Academic level appropriateness and quality;
  • Duplication of material in the collection;
  • Physical condition of the item;
  • Freedom from restrictions that limit the usefulness of materials to students and faculty of Saint Louis University.

Saint Louis University may decline items that:

  • Are not within the scope of its collections;
  • Do not support the instructional and research programs of the University;
  • Duplicate existing holdings;
  • Require extensive conservation;
  • Include donor restrictions that cannot be honored.


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Prospective donors are asked to provide a description of materials for consideration that includes the following general information:

  • Type of material (e.g., general books, academic books, rare books, periodicals, medieval manuscripts, archival materials, personal papers, audio-visual material, etc.)
  • Quantity (e.g., number of items, linear feet of shelf space, number of boxes)
  • Subject matter
  • Date range
  • Condition
  • Provenance, or history of ownership
  • For general or academic book collections, the bibliographic details (author, title, publisher, date) are useful, but not necessary.
  • For rare or valuable books, please provide the bibliographic details (author, title, publisher, date) if possible.

In many cases, librarians will have to examine the materials in person, either in the library or on site, to determine whether they are appropriate for the collection.

Donations that are accepted become the property of the Saint Louis University Libraries. The Libraries reserve the right to determine the retention, location, cataloging treatment, disposition, and other considerations related to the use, maintenance or removal of materials.

Saint Louis University does not provide appraisals, tax or legal advice. Donors should seek independent appraisal, tax and legal advice.

For more information, please contact the Library Administrative Office at 314-977-3100
or by email at: neelyd@slu.edu. Thank you.

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