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"No university in the world has ever risen to greatness without a correspondingly great library." - Lawrence Clark Powell

Gifts of Materials

Gifts of Materials: Information for Potential Donors

Thank you for your interest in supporting the MIT Libraries!

The MIT Libraries welcome gifts that focus on unique or specialized content not readily available in other collections. Especially desirable are works on little-known topics, materials produced by members of the MIT community, unique items, and small collections of related materials that would enhance our academic collection.

The needs of a university research library are both varied and specific. This may exclude some of the items people often wish to donate. The MIT Libraries do not accept:

  • Textbooks
  • Mass-market paperbacks
  • Books, journals and magazines which duplicate our holdings (see or are readily available in other collections
  • Individual issues or small runs of scholarly journal issues
  • Popular magazines (i.e. National Geographic, Smithsonian, etc.)
  • U.S. government publications
  • Materials in poor condition or exhibiting signs of mold or mildew
  • Materials that contain highlighting, underlining, or annotations (unless annotations are of significant scholarly value)
  • Materials in outmoded formats (8-track tapes, 5.25-inch computer disks, LPs, Betamax)
  • Electronic materials requiring dated software/hardware
  • Materials which might cause the library to be liable for copyright infringement (i.e., copied audio and video recordings.)

If you are considering a donation to the MIT Libraries, please contact the Gifts Librarian to speak about the usefulness of your proposed gift. To help evaluate proposed donations, The Libraries request donors to provide a list of materials. The Libraries are unable to retrospectively provide donors with a list of their donations. If gift materials are not accepted by the Libraries, we may suggest other options for your donation.

Please contact:
Charlene Follett
Gifts Librarian
(617) 258-5427

Since MIT was founded, gifts of materials to the MIT Libraries have played a very important role at MIT. Gifts of cash are also critical to building, managing, and preserving our Libraries’ collections for today’s students and faculty, and generations of MIT scholars to come.  We hope you will consider making a gift to support the Libraries’ Annual Fund today.  For more information, please visit or


Conditions of Acceptance
Gifts are accepted with the understanding that they become the property of the MIT Libraries upon receipt and that the Libraries may make all necessary decisions as to their retention, location, cataloging treatment, and other considerations relating to their use and disposition. The Libraries intention in accepting gifts is that they be added to the collection, if needed. Therefore, every effort is made to accept only items appropriate for addition to the Libraries collection.

Materials not added to the Libraries collection may be sold or disposed of through charitable organizations or other means. Proceeds of all sales go directly to the MIT Libraries Preservation Fund.

Gifts to the MIT Libraries are tax deductible. The MIT Libraries suggest that donors consult their own tax advisers, but can offer some general guidelines:

  • IRS Regulations do not allow us to provide an appraisal or estimate of value of your gift.
  • Gifts of books and other formats may be reported at their fair market value, as determined by a recent bill of sale or by an appraisal.
  • As income and estate tax laws are subject to frequent revision, The Libraries recommend that donors discuss gifts-in-kind appraisals with their attorneys.
  • An acknowledgment letter or signed donor form can serve as your receipt for tax purposes.

For further information on claiming a tax deduction or for identifying an appraiser for your gift, please see: Claiming A Tax Deduction For Your Gift To The MIT Libraries.

Acknowledgments for Gifts
The MIT Libraries will issue a dated and signed acknowledgment for gifts.

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