Special CollectionsBetsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives
Policy on Gifts of Materials to University of Tennessee Libraries
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Libraries are a top 25 academic public research library with more than 3.5M volumes and many more electronic resources available to our students and faculty. As our collection is already extensive, in many cases offers of gift books or materials may duplicate our holdings. With limited resources, including space, the Libraries must be highly selective in the materials we choose to add to our collection. As a result, we have a focused policy on what types of gifted materials we will consider at the UT Libraries.
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Libraries does not consider unsolicited gifts of general library materials. The Libraries will not accept walk-in donations or unapproved drop-offs at any of our facilities due to the high cost of sorting, reviewing, and processing donated materials.
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Libraries will consider gifts of rare materials, primary resource materials, and specialized research materials. For additional information regarding donations to Special Collections see our acquisition guidelines page.
The Libraries will not consider:
- Widely-held research publications
- Trade or mass market paperback books
- Popular magazines
- Titles already owned by the university, including journal runs, newspapers, etc.
- Personal libraries or large, generalized collections.
- Photocopies of research materials from other repositories
In order to be considered, the UT Libraries will need a detailed description of the intended donation. If the Libraries decides to accept the gift, we will work with the donor to determine the details of delivery to the Libraries. If it is determined that the materials would be better served in another repository, staff may suggest more appropriate locations for your donation.
The minimum average cost incurred by the libraries to process 1 linear feet (1 record box) of archival materials is $150, while the average cost of cataloging and processing a gift book is $50.00. This does not include the cost of using specialty enclosures, preservation or reformatting procedures, digitization and migration processes, advanced cataloging or metadata creation, or long term virtual or physical storage of collection material.
In considering the possible acceptance of a gift in kind donation, the libraries will take into account the requirement of space, the costs of processing the materials, and the use of any other resources associated with the maintenance of the collection in perpetuity. We strongly encourage donors to consider providing monetary gifts that will directly support processing of the donated materials, so researchers will be able to access and use these important collections in a timely manner. The Libraries can help provide cost estimates for processing and care of potential donations.
Although the Libraries may pursue selective and strategic digitization projects, we cannot agree to digitize entire collections because of the intensive resources required to do so. Any completed digital collections will be freely accessible on the libraries website.
Libraries cannot agree to accommodate requests for separate housing or shelving of donated materials. The Libraries cannot agree to place any donated material on permanent exhibit or display. In select circumstances, gifts may be accepted with temporary use restrictions on condition that the materials are available for use within a reasonable period. Loan or deposit materials are accepted only in extremely rare cases.
In certain circumstances, it may be possible for a donor to take a tax deduction for the donation of a collection. You are encouraged to speak with a tax accountant or attorney about this possibility. If an appraisal is needed for the donor’s tax purposes, the Libraries can help suggest a qualified appraiser and help facilitate the appraisal. UT Libraries employees cannot provide appraisals for collection materials.
The UT Libraries frequently commissions appraisals of gifted materials for the purpose of internal valuation. If a donor requests a copy of the appraisal, a copy will be provided. If a donor would like a completed IRS Form 8283 for tax purposes, the donor will need to work directly with the appraiser and pay any associated fees. These appraisals are commissioned for internal valuation purposes only and not for any other purpose. The appraisal may not be relied upon by the donor or by any other third party for any purpose, and the donor agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the University from any liability arising out of reliance upon the appraisal by donor or any third party acting on behalf of donor.
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