Skip to Content

Gifts of Books and Other Library Materials

Gifts-In-Kind Donations

Gifts of books, manuscripts, archival materials, scores, works of art, photographs, media, historical instruments or apparatuses, CDs and other tangible materials significantly contribute to the excellence, reputation, teaching and research missions of the University Libraries. Major gifts over the years form the Libraries most valuable special collections, renowned world-wide for unique scholarly and research content. Other gifts assist the Libraries to foster learning and information access, to strengthen and diversify collections in all formats, and to support research investigation.

The UB Libraries encourages and welcomes support through the donation of gifts-in-kind. These gifts enhance a tradition ensuring the continued success of the UB Libraries in supporting the research, teaching, and community service missions of the University at Buffalo. Gifts also create collections that raise the visibility and reputation of the UB Libraries as a center for research excellence and innovation.

Acceptance of Gifts

All offers of gift collections or individual items receive careful consideration by the UB Libraries. In many cases, librarians or professionals with specialized knowledge and experience will review a gift offer for its appropriateness to the Libraries, collection parameters, and policies. Initial review of proposed gifts-in-kind will consider any potential restrictions, limitations, and especially costs that will be associated with the gift and its processing and retention. For donations or collections of 50 items or more, the library requires that the donor first send a list of materials listing individual titles and material type (e.g. book, CD, kit, etc.). The library will review this list to determine whether to pursue accepting the gift. The library itself cannot compile detailed lists of donated materials after a gift has been received.

Funding to Support Gift Collections

Donors of significant collections are urged to consider providing funding support for the preservation, housing, processing, and continuing use of the materials. Discussions regarding support of collections should be held with the director or designee of the library unit accepting the collection. A suggested guideline for collection support is $1000 per 100 items, or the establishment of an endowment for the collection. Such support can also provide funding for organization, cataloging, processing, preservation, publicity, and reformatting (such as digitization) of items or collections to facilitate access, use, and enhanced learning and research.

Types of Gifts Desired

  • Collections or items that are original (primary material), rare or unique (not widely held by libraries).
  • Items not presently in the UB Libraries collections; must be related to established collection parameters.
  • Items that replace missing copies or copies in poor condition in the Libraries collections.
  • Non-book collections and items, such as archival collections, manuscripts, scores, photographs, architectural plans, media, recordings, CDs, DVDs, art objects, and historical instruments or apparatuses.
  • Collections or items documenting literary, artistic, or music communities, or cultural movements.
  • Locally significant collections and materials.

Types of Materials that Generally Cannot Be Accepted

  • Items duplicated in the UB Libraries collections.
  • Mass market magazines.
  • Items in poor condition.
  • Computer/technical manuals over 3 years old.
  • Undergraduate textbooks.
  • 78 rpm recordings
  • Items more suitable in the public library context.
  • Materials in antiquated formats, such as VHS, cassette tapes, and CDs.
  • Individual issues or short runs of periodicals to which the library does not subscribe.
  • Material that bears the ownership markings of another institution.
  • Reproductions or photocopies.

Appraisals, Income Tax Information

The appraisal of a gift-in-kind to the UB Libraries for income tax or other purposes is the responsibility of the donor. It is the donor who benefits from a tax deduction or other use of an appraisal. By law, the UB Libraries cannot formally appraise gifts or participate in an appraisal. The Libraries can provide assistance with information on professional appraisers who could be consulted by a donor.

Internal Revenue Service regulations governing charitable contributions of non-cash gifts are complex. We encourage donors to consult professional tax advisors before making a major gift-in-kind.

IRS Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property, provides detailed information for donors of non-cash gifts.

Donors who wish to present a gift-in-kind valued at $5,001 or more (specific items or collections) must obtain an independent appraisal and notify the UB Libraries of this appraisal prior to delivery of the gift-in-kind. It is necessary for the UB Foundation to substantiate the appraised value of the gift on IRS Form 8283 (PDF). See Instructions for details.


The UB Libraries provides written acknowledgement of all gifts accepted. Except for major gifts-in-kind, acknowledgment is generally provided in a letter that documents the number and type of volumes or items donated. It does not include a listing of the volumes/items. Value cannot be indicated or assessed by the Libraries. Acknowledgement letters are generally prepared by the Collections Officer, director or designee of the library unit accepting the gift. Major gifts-in-kind are also acknowledged in accordance with Donor Recognition categories and programs of the University at Buffalo.

Where to Deliver Gifts

Smaller gifts of 50 volumes/items or less can be delivered to a Collections office in a library unit of the UB Libraries, or to Central Technical Services in Lockwood Memorial Library. Please contact the UB Libraries prior to the delivery of gifts-in-kind.

Large gifts must be arranged in advance with the UB Libraries.

Thank you for your support of the UB Libraries

Gifts to our Libraries benefit the 20,000+ people who visit in person or via our website each day! The University Libraries conform to the Case Management and Reporting Standards (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) regarding definitions, procedures and reporting of gifts-in-kind.