Donations to University of Aberdeen Library

University of Aberdeen Library does not actively seek donations of printed material. We will only accept material which directly supports the University’s teaching and research priorities, and is in line with our collection development objectives.

What we cannot accept

We are very unlikely to accept the following:

  • Duplicates of items we already hold
  • physical editions of items we hold electronically
  • back runs of print journals
  • textbooks which are out date
  • material in obsolete or inaccessible formats (e.g. audio cassettes, floppy disks)
  • items which are not in excellent condition

Why we take this strict approach

Donations are not free of cost for the Library. Every item will need assessing before we can agree to it. If we do take it, it will need cataloguing and classifying before we can make it available. It will also take up space, which is always under pressure, as we already hold over 1 million items.

If we receive any items that we cannot accept, we will dispose of them ethically.

Alternatives to donating to the Library

Books can be of huge value to those who are unable to access university libraries and unable to afford either to buy them or to pay full price for them. Please consider donating your books to charities or other social enterprises. Two examples are given below but many others are also available.

Supporting the Library in other ways

Financial support for the Library will allow us to invest in key priorities across all of our service areas, helping to improve the experience of our students and the work of our researchers. If you are interested in supporting us in this way, our Development Trust can help you to make a donation.

How we will assess and manage donations

Please take careful note of the following information on how we will assess and manage donated items:

  • Items or collections will only be accepted on the clear understanding that the Library may subsequently select individual items for retention or disposal as it deems appropriate.
  • Items not required may be sold and the proceeds applied to the acquisition of other materials for the Library.
  • Material should be of recognised scholarly significance.
  • The material should have actual or potential value in connection either with our teaching and research priorities or the heritage of Northeast Scotland, and should fill gaps in existing collections.
  • Acceptance will be dependent on our expert judgement, e.g. about relevance, rareness and level of scholarship.
  • Donations should be in excellent condition.
  • CD-ROM or other media will only be accepted if they meet the above criteria and can be supported both technically and legally.
  • Donations accepted by the Library will not be retained as discrete collections. Material will be dispersed within the existing Library collections, according to subject.
  • Donations accepted become the exclusive and absolute property of the Library and may be disposed of if they cease to be of value to the Library's collections.
  • In the case of large donations, the donor is responsible for preparing a list of documents for donations.
  • The processing of donations will not be treated as a priority.

How to contact us

If you are sure that your donation is of interest to us please complete our Online Donations Form, preferably including a list of the items. Please note that we are unable to provide or pay for transport of the material. We will be in touch once we have considered your donation.