Book Donations

The Library donations policy
books on a shelf

The College is always pleased to hear from individuals who are considering donating books or other materials to the College Library. However, due to severe space constraints, and the staff time needed to process donations, careful consideration has to be given to every prospective gift of materials. Thus for practical reasons, only those items which meet the selection criteria outlined below will be accepted.

How to offer a donation
  • Potential donors should contact the College Librarian in the first instance. Depending on the nature, condition and size of the potential donation, the matter may also be referred to the Fellow Librarian and/or the College’s Library Committee
  • If possible, potential donors are asked to supply, in advance, a list of those items which they wish to donate. The Library staff, in consultation with appropriate members of the staff and Fellowship, will then select suitable titles from the list of items on offer
How we select material for the collections

Generally, the Library will only consider materials relating to:

  • subjects currently being studied within College by undergraduates and taught postgraduates
  • the history of the institution, its properties, and its alumni

The Library does not generally accept:

  • Back issues of journals
  • Materials on deposit or loan
  • Items in very poor physical condition and/or  requiring extensive conservation treatment
How we process donated material

Books received by donation will integrated into the Library’s collections at the discretion of Library staff.  Whilst every effort will be made at the point of donation to accept only those books deemed relevant to the collections, the Library reserves the right to dispose of unwanted material by whatever methods the Librarian judges most appropriate.  Typically this will involve offering them to other Cambridge libraries, putting them in one of our College book sales, or passing them to a book charity.

All donated materials become the property of the Library. As a part of the College Library’s collection they may be removed at any time in the future according to the Library’s current policy for weeding and de-accessioning.

Acknowledgement of donations

Our usual practice is to insert a bookplate inside the front of every donated item to acknowledge the donation. A ‘donor note’ may also be added to the entry for the item in our online library catalogue. All donations to the Library are also recorded on the Library’s donation list, which is formally submitted to each meeting of the College’s Governing Body.