Donating Items to the Library

Gifts for the Georgetown University Library

Due to disruptions caused by an upcoming Fall 2023 renovation project, Georgetown University Library is not accepting donations of materials at this time.

How to Offer a Gift:

The Georgetown University Library’s circulating general collections are overseen by the Head of the Research Services department, who can speak to the general scope of the Library’s programs and collecting areas. Please contact the Head of Research Services if you have scholarly and literary works that you believe may enhance the Library’s collections. For gifts of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, University history, and art, please contact the Director of the Booth Family Center for Special Collections.

In conjunction with the donation of materials (gifts in kind), we encourage donors to also consider providing monetary gifts that will directly support processing, so researchers will be able to access and use these important collections as quickly as possible. In such instances, the Library can help provide cost estimates for processing, cataloging, digitization, preservation, and/or conservation. Decisions as to acceptance of any in-kind donation may be informed by the availability of sufficient donated funds to enable the Library to appropriately process the item and undertake additional measures to ensure its use and good condition.

Conditions of Gift Acceptance:

Georgetown University Library is unable to take all materials offered, accepting only those that are within the scope of its collections and targeted growth areas.  Although exceptions may be made for rare or unique materials, the following generally fall outside of the Library’s scope of collecting:

  • items that are duplicated in our collection (except when replacing volumes of significance that are in poor condition);
  • textbooks;
  • children’s books;
  • popular fiction and trade books;
  • issues of journals/periodicals;
  • items that are outside the scope of our collections;
  • media (e.g., DVDs, video/audio cassettes, CDs);
  • popular magazines;
  • electronic materials without an appropriate license that would allow the Library to make them available to all Georgetown users;
  • memorabilia;
  • materials with serious restrictions to access due to copyright, personally identifiable medical or financial information, or government classification;
  • materials that we cannot properly store, preserve, or provide access to due to condition or format.

Likewise, material that shows signs of mold, infestation, or significant degradation will not be accepted.  

The Library does not accept unsolicited gifts and reserves the right to dispose of unsolicited materials in any manner it deems appropriate. The Library may request to examine and assess collections in person, in advance of their transfer to Georgetown, as part of the process for determining if a gift can be accepted, whether in whole or in part. 

If the Library is unable to accept a gift, the American Library Association offers a list of groups and organizations that accept donations of books in good condition.

Gifts of materials that are accepted by the Library become the property of Georgetown University. Once the Library takes possession of an item, the Library retains the right to make all decisions with regard to its storage, location, processing, access, use, retention, reformatting/digitization, and removal. Donated items that do not fall within the scope of the Georgetown University Library’s holdings may be offered to other libraries in need or sold in compliance with IRS regulations.

Gift Appraisal and Acknowledgement:

Georgetown University is a 501(c)3 charitable educational organization; thus, donors may be eligible for state and federal income tax benefits as a result of a gift in kind.  However, under Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations, the Library is not permitted to appraise gifts. Appraisals are the sole responsibility of the donor and should be completed before the donor transfers the property to the Georgetown University Library.  

Donors should refer to the IRS’s Publication 561: Determining the Value of Donated Property for information on gift appraisals accepted by the IRS for tax purposes. The Library does not pay or reimburse for such appraisals, nor does it authenticate the qualifications of appraisers or the validity of their appraisals. While the Library cannot recommend appraisers, here is a list of professional organizations that you may consult:

American Society of Appraisers

Appraisers Association of America, Inc.

International Society of Appraisers

The Library does not advise on matters related to the tax implications of a gift; prospective donors should consult with the IRS or a legal or tax expert in his/her home state or country prior to transferring a gift to Georgetown University Library. Donors may ask the University to complete the "Donee Acknowledgment" portion of the IRS Form 8283: Noncash Charitable Donations. All forms and documents related to the donation of property should be presented to the Library as a part of the transfer of materials.  

For any significantly sized gifts that are accepted by the Library, donors may be asked to fill out and sign an “Intent to Give” form. This document requires that the donor provide her/his contact information as well as indicate whether she/he is looking to have the collection appraised for a tax deduction. Any large gift or appraised gift will also require the donor to complete and sign a “Deed of Gift” form. A signed “Deed of Gift” form acknowledges the legal transfer of ownership of the donation to Georgetown University. If a Donor is looking to pursue a tax deduction, the Donor will be required to submit a signed “Deed of Gift,” a signed appraiser’s report, and a signed IRS 8283 form. The donor is required to arrange with the Library the date and time of the gift delivery. 

The Library will provide donors of property with a written acknowledgment of the gift. 

Contact Information:

Regarding gifts of materials to the Library’s circulating general collections, please contact Ryan Johnson, Head of Research Services.

Regarding gifts of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, art, and University history to the Library’s special collections holdings, please contact Keith Gorman, Director, Booth Family Center for Special Collections.