The Penn Libraries welcomes offers of rare or unique materials that are of value to the University's teaching and research mission. Because of space constraints and the high cost of processing materials, however, the Libraries is selective when accepting donated materials.
Gifts of books and other library materials frequently require more planning than gifts of cash or marketable securities. The Libraries needs time to gather information before deciding whether to accept some or all of a proposed gift of materials. If the timing of your gift is an important consideration (if you have a moving or tax filing deadline, for instance), please inform the Libraries so that we may establish a reasonable time line for completing the donation. Please do not arrange for the delivery of materials until you have been asked to do so by the Libraries.
Prior to accepting materials, subject specialists from the Libraries will usually examine the materials or review a list of them from the prospective donor. In general, the Libraries will not accept a gift of materials which cannot be used in its collection, but the Libraries may accept selected titles or items rather than an entire collection.
Not all gifts accepted by the Libraries will be added to the Libraries' collections. The Libraries reserves the right to make all decisions concerning its collections in accordance with the Libraries' needs and policies, and to dispose of materials not added to its collections in compliance with the policies of the University of Pennsylvania and its Libraries, and with federal tax regulations.
Upon acceptance, donated materials become the property of the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. Once incorporated into the Libraries' collections, individual items will be subject to the same policies for preservation, storage, exchange, and deaccessioning that apply to all materials held by the Libraries.
Making Your Gift: Contact the Libraries
First, contact the Penn Libraries' Associate Vice Provost for Collections and Scholarly Communication, who will refer your potential gift to a member of our staff. We will need to know the specific materials you wish to donate and any requirements you may have regarding our acceptance or use of your gift.
Once the Libraries has sufficient information, we will decide whether to accept the gift. We will try to keep you informed about the timing and the process by phone and follow up with a confirmatory letter, but do contact us if you have questions or concerns.
For more information about the Penn Libraries and how you can make an impact, please contact our office at