Making donations to the University's collections

Collections of printed material offered to Information Services

It has traditionally been an accepted function of a university library to receive gifts of material from former students, staff or other prominent individuals connected with the institution.  Information Services is happy to continue fulfilling this function but constraints of space to store it and staff resources to process it mean that donated material can no longer be accepted unreservedly.  The following are intended as general guidelines; they are not intended to be comprehensive and each offer will be assessed in the light of circumstances applying at the time.  The importance of the donor and their relationship to the University will also be a major consideration in assessing any offer.

Basic principles:

Information Services will normally only accept gifts of books and periodicals on the clear understanding that it is free to process them as it sees fit, in line with its role of supporting the teaching and research needs of the Aberystwyth University.  It will only be possible to keep material together as discrete, named, collections in exceptional circumstances.

Processing may include:

  • addition to the stock of the Library
  • donation to another local library (such as the National Library of Wales)
  • donation to Book Aid International, for possible use in Third World libraries
  • donation to a charity, such as OXFAM
  • sale in a AU library
  • sale to a bookseller
  • recycling
  • return of unwanted items to the donor (if so requested)

Guidelines used for assessing donated material: 

Donations of books and periodicals are attractive if:

  • they are on subjects for which the University has a relevant department and courses
  • they are extra copies of current textbooks
  • they have been published recently and are in very good physical condition
  • they fill gaps in periodical runs
  • they are works of scholarship in Welsh
  • they were published before 1850
  • they are examples of fine printing from private presses

Donations of books and periodicals are usually not attractive if:

  • they are on subjects not represented by a University department
  • they are old, superseded, editions of textbooks
  • periodicals duplicate existing holdings
  • periodicals are incomplete runs of titles not in stock
  • items are in poor physical condition:
  • pages show signs of damp, mould or spotting
  • the cover is loose or damaged
  • there are loose, damaged or missing pages
  • there are handwritten notes or underlining in the text
  • there are obtrusive marks of ownership
  • they come from another library and have their ownership stamps

Assistance from academic staff in assessing collections of donated material is always welcome and will be sought whenever practicable.