In light of current events, Carleton University Library will not be accepting gifts-in-kind for our collections until further notice (This includes archival and rare book material).

Beginning March 23, 2020, Carleton Library has temporarily suspended acceptance of donated materials for the general and archival collection. We will evaluate our policies as events continue to evolve.

If you have questions about donating physical material please contact:

If you would like to make a gift of funds to the Library, please contact the Office of the University Librarian at You can also support specific projects and collections at the Library through the Futurefunder.


Policy Name:

Gifts-in-kind Policy

Originating/Responsible Department:

Archives & Special Collections (ASC)

Approval Authority:

Library Executive Committee (LEC)

Date of Original Policy:

19 August 2021

Last Updated:

Not applicable

Mandatory Revision Date:

19 August 2024


Department Head, Archives & Special Collections


The Carleton University Library (Library) welcomes inquiries concerning gifts-in-kind and donations of published and unpublished material that help support teaching, learning, and research at Carleton University.


This policy defines the processes and procedures in place to assess and consider potential gifts-in-kind.


This policy applies to all inquiries, received by Library staff, concerning potential gifts-in-kind of published and/or unpublished material.


Books, maps, and other published material

Before the Library is able to consider gifts of books, maps and/or other published material, donors are required to do the following:

  • To prepare a list or inventory of the materials offered, including for each item: author, title, publisher, date of publication/creation. See Appendix A for an inventory template. This allows the Library to determine whether the gift-in-kind is acceptable for donation.
  • Take and provide clear photographs of the materials to help with an initial assessment of the condition of the items. Specifically, photographs of book spines, and covers would be extremely helpful.

The Library primarily accepts rare books and other published material that fit the following criteria:

  • Each item has a fair market value of over $600 (so an encyclopedia with one volume per letter, for example, would have to be $15,600).
  • Published before 1800.
  • Published in a limited run of 200 or fewer.

Items meeting the following criteria are generally not accepted:

  • in poor physical condition.
  • outdated or superseded editions.
  • obsolete formats that are difficult to access content.
  • materials in languages other than English.
  • textbooks, course workbooks, and/or manuals.
  • popular magazines or periodicals.*
  • newspapers.*
  • individual issues or short runs of journals.*
  • popular fiction, paperbacks, and/or mass market books*
  • videos and DVDs*
  • photocopies and/or reproductions

Note: All materials listed above with an (*) still may be considered rare as detailed above.

Once accepted, the ownership of materials is transferred to the Library. When a gift is accepted by the Library:

  • it is without conditions, restrictions, or commitment on the part of the Library about how, when, or whether it will be processed for the collection.
  • the Library reserves the right to decide the retention, location, cataloguing, use, and disposition of gifts.
  • the Library does not provide transportation for gifts nor does it return gifts or portions of gifts that are not accepted.
  • in cases where an appraisal of the gift-in-kind is necessary for tax purposes, the Library asks the donor to offset the cost of appraisals for material that have a fair market value of more than $1000. No tax receipts are issued for any gift valued at less than $600. For more information, please see the Library’s Monetary Appraisal Policy.

Archival collections, manuscripts, and other unpublished material

The Library acquires archival records, manuscripts, and other unpublished material of individuals and organizations that support teaching and learning at Carleton University. All archival gifts-in-kind must follow a formal donation process, which includes a formal donation agreement.

Generally, the Library looks to acquire material that supports the areas of strength, and areas of interest as detailed in Archives & Special Collections (ASC)’s Mandate.

In cases where an appraisal of the gift-in-kind is necessary for tax purposes, please see the Library’s Monetary Appraisal Policy.

The Library does not accept any unsolicited gifts-in-kind whether they are books, maps, archival collections, manuscripts, or any general published and unpublished materials: Do not send material to the Library without first consulting a Library representative.

Any inquiries about any potential gifts-in-kind, should be directed to the Department Head of Archives & Special Collections.

Roles and Responsibilities

Note: ASC staff may ask the assistance and expertise of other Library staff in processing gifts-in-kind on an as needed basis.

Library Executive Committee provides the following:

  • final authorization to enter into donation agreements for gifts-in-kind.
  • signing authority to Department Head of Archives & Special Collections to sign donation agreements.

Archives & Special Collections is responsible for the following:

  • corresponding, and meeting with potential donors.
  • providing a recommendation to the Library Executive Committee on potential gifts-in-kind.
  • managing the acquisition, and processing of gifts-in-kind.
  • incorporating gifts-in-kind into ASC’s collection.

General Library Staff is responsible for:

  • bringing any potential gifts-in-kind to the attention of the Department Head of Archives & Special Collections.


Department Head, Archives & Special Collections

Links to Related Policies

Secretariat Policies -

  • Gift Acceptance Policy
  • Gifts in Kind Policy

MacOdrum Library Policies -

  • Monetary Appraisal Policy