The University of Sydney Library appreciates the benefits of donations in enriching our collections to support the scholarly activities of the University.

Gifts are generally accepted for inclusion in the collections on the basis of relevance to the University's teaching and research programs and in accordance with the Library's collecting policies, and donation guidelines.

The depth and richness of the Library's collections is due, in part, to the generosity of many donors over the years. However the size of the collections do mean that a great deal of material offered to the Library is already held.

The Library does reserve the right to decline or dispose of gift material.

Guidelines for acceptance of donations

  • Formed collections can no longer be accepted by the Library. Depending on the subject donors will be referred to other libraries or the Chancellor's Committee Bookfest.
  • Donations of individual or small numbers of books - unless directly relevant to a current course, or include work by University staff - can no longer be accepted. The donor will be referred to other libraries or the Chancellor's Committee Bookfest. Books that are left or delivered when no staff are present will be sent to the Bookfest.
  • Offers of donations of books that fit the Library's Rare Books and Special Collections Library guidelines 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 East Asian Collection Librarian
  • Offers of donations under the Cultural Gifts Program (tax deductions) should be referred to the Director, Sydney eScholarship for consideration.

Conditions of Acceptance

We accept donations within the guidelines set out above 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.


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.

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 the Library under the Cultural Gifts or Bequests Programs, please contact the Director, Sydney eScholarship on +61 (02) 9351 3352.

How to Donate

Please contact the appropriate Academic Liaison Librarian, or the Gift Librarian on +61 (02) 9351 7279 (email: