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Gift Policy

Thank you for considering a gift to the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.  Our collections have been greatly enriched over the years through generous gifts of materials and funds.  The Libraries welcome materials that support, broaden, and advance the teaching and research activities of the University.  Modest monetary gifts are much appreciated, as are bequests, endowments, and larger contributions.

The UMass Amherst Libraries are able to accept materials that have been approved in advance by a subject specialist or the Gifts Librarian.  Staff time needed to review, catalog, and process gifts is costly, and collection space is limited. Donated works should meet the same selection criteria as current purchases.

The UMass Amherst Libraries become the owner of all accepted gifts and, as such, reserve the right to determine their retention, location, cataloging treatment and use.

Generally, we are unable to accept the following materials:

  • Titles already owned by UMass Amherst or the other Five College libraries (check the Five College Library Catalog)
  • Popular fiction; e.g., mysteries, romance, bestsellers
  • Textbooks
  • Back or current issues of periodicals (unless they fill specific gaps in an existing run)
  • Materials in poor condition (moldy, pages missing, highlighted or underlined text, brittle paper, etc.)
  • Off-prints, photocopies, etc.
  • Media in older, less commonly used formats. (In certain cases, the Libraries may accept a gift item in an older format and convert it to one that is more current.)

Procedures for Donors

If you are interested in making a donation of materials to the Libraries, please contact one of the Libraries’ subject specialists or Scott Stangroom, Gifts Librarian, at, 413-545-6724.  For donations of personal papers, manuscripts, or organizational records, please contact Rob Cox, Head of Special Collections, at, 413-545-6842.  These individuals will provide you with the most authoritative information about the Libraries’ needs and abilities to accept some or all of your gifts.

In order to help us evaluate your materials, we may ask you to provide a list of publications that includes author, title, edition and date.  Following evaluation, our librarians will work with you to arrange for official acceptance, transfer, and acknowledgment of materials.

For monetary gifts, please contact Carol Connare, Director of Library Development and Communications, at, 413-545-0995.

Tax Information for Donors

Upon request, UMass Amherst Libraries will provide a written acknowledgment to verify donations.  For information about tax treatment of your donation, please consult with a qualified tax professional or the Internal Revenue Service.

To find an appraiser, you may consult one of these resources:
Antiquarian Bookseller’s Association of America

Massachusetts and Rhode Island Antiquarian Booksellers

Alternative Destinations for Your Gifts

If the UMass Amherst Libraries are unable to accept your gifts, here are some suggestions for selling or donating your materials:

  • Your local public library
  • Local used book stores
  • League of Women Voters, for its annual book sale
  • American Library Association’s fact sheet on sending books to needy libraries

We are grateful that you are considering a gift to the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Endorsed by the Research Library Council
Approved by Director of Libraries November, 1998
Approved by Senior Management Group April 13, 2011
Reviewed and endorsed by the Research Library Council April 28, 2011