Donations

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Library Services has benefited from many donations of printed materials that have helped to develop the library’s collections. However, not all materials are suitable for our collections.

Donations policy

We are happy to accept the following donations:

  • materials which are relevant to current or future known teaching and research needs
  • materials of particular rarity or historical interest
  • copies of the latest edition of a textbook, in excellent condition, without damage or marking

We regret that the following types of material are generally unsuitable:

  • duplicates of existing stock
  • out-of-date or damaged editions of textbooks
  • popular fiction
  • popular non-fiction

Donations are accepted on the basis that we are not obliged to keep material which turns out to be unsuitable on examination. We regret we are unable to return items that we cannot keep.

Obsolete or inaccessible formats

For material in obsolete or inaccessible formats, please contact: donatinglibrarymaterial@lists.bham.ac.uk for advice.

Rare or manuscript material

The above conditions do not apply to rare or manuscript material being offered to Special Collections. Please contact: special-collections@bham.ac.uk for advice.

How to make donations

University staff and students

Contact the Library Engagement Team to discuss the material you wish to donate. We need to know whether there is a known need for it to support teaching or research, or whether you feel it may be useful, and an indication of the urgency with which it should be processed. 

Use of our address label will ensure that your items reach the right area of Library Services, and library staff will be able to respond to the donation with the appropriate level of urgency. Filtering out unwanted items before they are sent to us enables us to handle items for addition to stock much more quickly.

Material arriving without an address label may not reach us; if it does, it may appear to library staff to be unsolicited material from an external source. As such, it may be treated as low priority, may be discarded, and we will be unable to answer queries on its progress.

 

Members of the public

Please contact us, either by phone (0121 414 5828) or send a brief description of your material to donatinglibrarymaterial@lists.bham.ac.uk

We welcome the thoughtfulness of people who offer to donate books and other material to the University Library. However, each year we receive thousands of unsolicited donated items, not all of which are suitable for adding to our stock. They wait many months for assessment.

We are now asking prospective donors to contact a member of Library Services staff before sending us material, so that we can decline the offer if it is obvious that the material would be unsuitable for us. This saves both your time and costs, and ours, and enables us to handle the material which we do wish to consider for stock more quickly. 

We are unable to answer queries on the progress of unsolicited material which has been sent without prior arrangement.  Such material cannot be returned, and may be discarded.