MIT Libraries logo MIT Libraries

MIT logo Search Contact

Gifts of materials

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

For rare and unique items that may be considered for the Department of Distinctive Collections (DDC), please review DDC’s collections development policy and donation process.

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 that duplicate our holdings or are readily available in other collections
  • Individual issues or small runs of scholarly journal issues
  • Popular magazines (e.g., 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 (e.g., 8-track tapes, 5.25-inch computer disks, LPs, Betamax)
  • Electronic materials requiring dated software/hardware
  • Materials that might cause the library to be liable for copyright infringement (e.g., copied audio and video recordings)

Since MIT was founded, gifts of materials to the MIT Libraries have played a very important role at MIT.  However, for each donation we accept, there are both immediate and long-term expenses to cover the processing of the items and making the items accessible.

If you are considering donating an item to the MIT Libraries, please contact to inquire about the usefulness of your proposed gift. To help us evaluate proposed donations, we request that donors provide a list of materials.

We ask that you not send unsolicited materials directly to the MIT Libraries. We do not track receipts of unsolicited items, and only very rarely add such items to our collections. Please note that the Libraries are unable to retrospectively provide donors with a list of their donations.

For more information, please contact

Also see: Claim a tax deduction for your gift to MIT Libraries