University of Notre Dame


Hesburgh Libraries

Rare Books & Special Collections

RBSC Gift Policy

Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) welcomes gifts of materials that will significantly enhance its collections of established strengths or subject areas targeted for collection development. Donors must contact RBSC before delivering their gift item(s) to the library so that RBSC can evaluate whether the potential gift fits within its collecting parameters and meets other criteria for addition into Special Collections.

While RBSC recognizes that materials may have value to the donor or potential value to the university, not every collection is a good fit for RBSC. Limited physical space and human resources for storing, processing, and making materials accessible prevent RBSC from accepting many items. In such instances, RBSC must decline the gift offer with thanks and can suggest alternative places for donations of some types of materials.

The United States Internal Revenue Service prohibits RBSC from appraising or estimating the value of any gift. For finding information about the value of books, donors may want to contact a book dealer who belongs to the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) or the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB). Also useful for general information about the value of books is "Your Old Books," published electronically by the Rare Book and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association.

RBSC does not accept materials without legal transfer of ownership, deed of gift, gift receipt, or other written acknowledgement. Once a gift is given to RBSC, it becomes the property of Hesburgh Libraries at the University of Notre Dame. RBSC retains the right to dispose of unwanted or unsolicited gift materials in the manner of its choosing. Gifts that are accepted will be processed according to priorities established by RBSC and Hesburgh Libraries. RBSC does not accept materials that will never be made accessible to the public.