Policy Regarding Gifts to the Colgate University Libraries

The Colgate University Libraries support the teaching and research needs of the University's current students and faculty. The Libraries welcome the donation of monetary gifts as well as scholarly material that supports this mission. Support from faculty, alumni, and friends contributes greatly to the strengths and diversity of the Libraries' holdings.

Because of the costs associated with processing and storing gifts of scholarly materials, the Libraries reserve the right to carefully review offered material and to decline gifts that fall outside the scope of our collecting policies. Generally, materials not accepted include heavily damaged, highlighted, annotated, or moldy books; textbooks; condensed books; photocopies; proof texts; self-published books; bibles; non-commercially produced videotapes; films in VHS format that are commercially available in DVD; and recordings on vinyl, sheet music, and standard editions of musical scores. We also decline to accept materials that are largely duplicative of our existing holdings or in cases where multiple copies are already available within the local ConnectNY consortium. Back runs of journals are generally not accepted unless they fill a gap in our collection and the material has not already been digitized. The Libraries are also unable to accept the donation of personal subscriptions.

All gifts-in-kind are received with the understanding that they are unrestricted gifts and, as such, Colgate University Libraries becomes the owner of the material and reserves the right to make retention, location, cataloging, and other decisions relating to use or disposition. Some gifts-in-kind not added to the collection may be offered to other libraries in the region or may be forwarded to Better World Books.

Monetary Contributions

The Colgate University Libraries gratefully accept monetary contributions directed to the development of its library collections, including Special Collections & University Archives. Please alert us if you are considering establishing a named fund in support of the library so that we may discuss how we may fulfill your objectives. If you would like to make a donation, please contact Colgate's Institutional Advancement.

Gift of Rare or Archival Materials and Manuscripts

Donations of rare books, manuscript collections, and other significant materials related to Colgate University history are accepted at the discretion of the Head of Special Collections & University Archivist. The primary goal of the Department's collection development program is to build upon strengths of existing collections and to support the curricular and research needs of the University. For more information see the Special Collections & University Archives website.

How to Proceed

Potential donors are encouraged to discuss major gifts with the Director of Collections Services, the University Librarian, and, if appropriate, the Head of Special Collections & University Archivist prior to the donation. Persons wishing to donate gifts of a smaller nature may contact the Director of Collections Services. In some instances donors may be asked to provide a list of titles considered for donation to assist in determining the appropriateness of the materials for the Colgate University Libraries. Depending on the size and value of the gift-in-kind, the donor may be asked to fill out a deed of gift.

Issues concerning appropriateness, transportation, disposition, appraisal, and processing should be resolved before a donor ships or delivers materials. Generally, donors are expected to arrange for the packing and transportation of materials to Colgate University.


By law the library is not allowed to assign a value to gifts-in-kind. If the claimed annual non-cash charitable contributions of a donor exceed $500, IRS Tax Form 8283 must be filed. Gifts valued at more than $5,000 must be appraised. The appraisal of a gift for income tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor; however, the library may be able to provide suggestions of qualified professional appraisers. Appraisal should be completed before transport to Colgate.

Link to the Deed of Gift

For additional information, please contact:

Mark Sandford, Director of Collections Services

Cara Howe, Director of Special Collections and Discovery Services & University Archivist