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Gifts to the Washington University Libraries can play an important role in strengthening our collections. Often such gifts include rare or out-of-print materials which would otherwise be difficult to acquire.

Gifts and our Collection Development Policy

The Libraries are especially interested in scholarly materials that will help us to support the University’s mission of research and teaching. Each gift will be evaluated for its value to our researchers and students. Additional factors to consider include condition, potential restrictions, limitations, and the costs associated with the processing and retention of gifts.

Special Collections

The Special Collections units are interested in rare and unique materials related to any of the following: university history, St. Louis history, literary manuscripts, rare books, illustration and graphic culture, and film/video production, including equipment such as film projectors.

Disposition of Gifts

Gifts are accepted with the understanding that they become the property of the Libraries upon receipt and that the Libraries will make the final determination concerning their acceptance, retention, location, cataloging, use, and disposition. Gifts that do not meet our needs may be exchanged with other libraries, sold, or disposed of through charitable organizations or other means. Income from the sale of gifts is used to purchase other items needed for our research collections. The cost of caring for, describing, and providing access to rare and historic materials is extremely high. Donors are encouraged to consider making a monetary contribution to offset the costs of arranging, describing, and preserving their gifts.

Tax Rules

Gifts to the Libraries are tax-deductible to the extent provided by the law. Donors are responsible for obtaining a qualified appraisal of the fair market value of their gifts and for paying any appraiser’s fees. IRS regulations prohibit the Libraries, as interested parties, from appraising gifts. However, the Libraries can provide a list of local professional appraisers and will provide a written acknowledgement of gifts.


If you are considering a gift-in-kind or monetary gift to the Washington University Libraries, please contact the Acquisitions Librarian at 314-935-3036 (or michelle.ehlert@wustl.edu)

Thank you for your interest in the Washington University Libraries!

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