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The depth and richness of the Library's collections is due, in part, to the generosity of many donors over the years. We appreciate the benefits of donations in enriching our collections to support the scholarly activities of the University.


Donation guidelines

  • We accept gift material based on its relevance to the University's teaching and research programs.
  • Offers of donations of books should be referred to the Rare Books and Special Collections Librarian for consideration.
  • Offers of donations for the East Asian Collection should be referred to the Rare Books and Special Collections East Asian Liaison Librarian.
  • Offers of donations under the Cultural Gifts Program (tax deductions) should be referred to the Director, Access Services for consideration.
  • We no longer accept formed collections. Depending on the subject, donors will be referred to other libraries or the Chancellor's Committee Bookfest.
  • We no longer accept donations of individual or small numbers of books unless they are directly relevant to a current course, or include work by University staff. Donors will be referred to other libraries or the Chancellor's Committee Bookfest.
  • We reserve the right to decline or dispose of gift material. Books that are left or delivered when no staff are present will be sent to the Bookfest.

Conditions of acceptance

  • We accept donations as set out in the above guidelines on the understanding that items which are not selected for the collections, including duplicate materials, may be transferred to other libraries, sold through the University's Bookfair or other booksellers, or disposed of in other ways as appropriate.

    Donations are also accepted on the understanding that the material accepted becomes the property of the University of Sydney Library, and may not be claimed back at a later date. In some circumstances, such as gifts to the Rare Books and Special Collections Library, some form of documentation may need to be completed. The Library does not accept gifts as long term loans, except under exceptional circumstances and only with the approval of the University Librarian.

    Gifts may not be accepted if the donor wishes to place any limitations or restrictions on its use or disposal. It is Library policy that gift material is integrated into the existing collections, and is subject to the same conditions of use as those collections. Special treatment of significant collections may be considered on the agreement of the University Librarian.

    In some situations selection decisions will also be made after considering the holdings of other Library collections.

Donations and tax benefits

  • In order to encourage gifts of significance to libraries, art galleries and museums, the Commonwealth Government has established two different programs under which eligible institutions such as the University of Sydney Library may accept valuable donations. Both offer a tax deduction for the market value of the donation:

    Cultural gifts program

    Under Subdivision 30-A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, a tax deduction for the market value of a gift may be available to donors offering important collections or individual titles to the University of Sydney Library.

    Each gift needs to be valued by two valuers chosen from a list of those appointed for the purpose by the Commonwealth Government. In addition, a Certificate of Donation must be completed, transferring ownership from the donor to the Library.

    Cultural bequests program

    This is a program aimed at private collectors who may wish to bequeath nationally significant cultural items or collections to the Library. Such bequests are encouraged, not only by being made exempt from capital gains tax and by making the agreed value of the gift tax deductible against the income of the donor's estate, but by also allowing the donor to retain custody of the item(s) during their lifetime.

    If you wish to discuss a donation to us under the cultural gifts or bequests programs, please contact the Director, Academic Services.


  • If required, gifts can be acknowledged by letter on receipt. Where appropriate bookplates can also be added to gift item(s) in the donor's name.