University of Glasgow Library will only accept donations which are relevant to current teaching and research at the University.

Our Archives and Special Collections department has a separate donations policy.

What we do not accept

We will not normally accept:

  • Duplicate copies of items we already have in any print or electronic format
  • Back runs of print journals
  • Textbooks
  • Material in obsolete or inaccessible formats
  • Items in poor condition
  • Items which require specialist skills or knowledge to process, house, or catalogue

Why are we so strict about what donations we accept?

Due to the size of our collections, space in the Library is very limited. Donations also require a substantial amount of staff time to process and catalogue. This means we can only justify accepting donations if they will clearly support the University’s research and teaching by strengthening our existing collections.

Offering a donation to the Library

If you would like to offer a donation of material to the Library, please contact us with a full list of the donation made using this template: Donations Title List (excel spreadsheet). 

Our Head of Collection Development and the relevant College Librarians will review the potential donation and make a decision about acceptance or rejection. If a donation is accepted, we would normally expect the donor to pay for uplift and transportation to the Library. It will be processed, catalogued, and made available to readers as part of our normal workflows. Due to ever-changing priorities we are unable to provide a timescale for this.

Conditions of donation acceptance

Once we have accepted and received a donation, the material becomes the property of the Library. It may be dispersed among our collections and discarded at any point in the future in accordance with our collections policies.

Alternative places to donate your books

If we do not accept your donation, there are several charities and social enterprises which accept donations of second-hand books, including rare books, these include:

  • Oxfam Bookshops - accepts all books regardless of age or topic, including academic and textbooks.
  • Betterworld Books - a social enterprise which donates books and some of its profits to literacy initiatives around the world.