Collection management policy: donations

Supporting Document to Collection Management Policy Statement

The following guidelines will be applied in considering offers to donate material to the Bodleian libraries.

1. We will normally accept as donations unique items which fall within the libraries' acquisition policies in the following categories:

  • non-UK research material;
  • substitutes for items which should have been received under Legal Deposit but were not;
  • substitutes for missing or defective items.

2. We will not normally accept as donations items which duplicate existing stock, except in the following cases

  • in order to provide a reserve copy in the interests of conservation;
  • extra copies of open-shelf loanable monographs for as long as continued use of the original item can be demonstrated;
  • the duplicate items are a small proportion of a larger collection and there are good reasons for maintaining its integrity.

3. We will not normally accept

  • unpublished theses, other than those deposited under University regulations;
  • offprints;
  • material which infringes or, if accepted, would infringe the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 or similar legislation (to be refused, or, if inadvertently accepted, to be discarded).

4. Unsolicited donations may not be retained in full or at all (having regard to the circumstances of the donation and the nature of the libraries' collections) if they substantially duplicate existing holdings, are substantially outside the scope of the library to which they are offered, and/or would impose unacceptable processing, storage or conservation costs when set against the material's likely contribution to the library's collections. In such cases, the donor will be encouraged to offer material to a more appropriate library if one can be identified or the library may exercise discretion over the retention or disposal of the material following appropriate consultation.

5.1 All donations are accepted subject to the proviso that we normally make no undertakings as regards location, access, retention or lending.

5.2 We may wish to seek a contribution to the cost of processing donated material.

6.1 Electronic resources may be accepted as donations subject to the above criteria (where applicable) and to our best judgement of our ability to continue to provide access to them.

6.2 Open-access electronic resources, for which the libraries have no ownership rights, may be linked to our resource discovery tools if, in the judgement of subject librarians, they are of academic relevance and the links can be tested for persistence.

7. The Bodleian Libraries reserves the right to decline offers of material.

To enquire about a donation, please contact Ann Evans, Head of Collections Management:  

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