The Catholic University of America

Gifts Policy

The Catholic University of America Libraries appreciate the donations made by our patrons in enriching our collections in order to support scholarly teaching and research at CUA.

Overview of Criteria for Inclusion of Gifts

  • Gifts should be relevant to the libraries' mission to participate in the teaching and research programs of the University and to preserve our Catholic intellectual heritage and culture. The subject librarian will have final say as to whether something is added to the collection.
  • Donors are not allowed to place special restrictions on the use or disposal of the gifts. The University becomes the owner of all donated materials and, as such, reserves the right to determine its retention, location, cataloging treatment, and other considerations related to its use, maintenance, or removal.
  • Material must be in good condition. Paperbacks or hardcovers that are falling apart, missing pages, have yellowed paper, or extensively marked up, are rejected. Books with mold and mildew are rejected outright.
  • Donations of journals and serials are rarely added to the collection unless it is a run of several years. Individual issues are rejected outright.
  • Audiovisual material may be considered if it is in good condition. DVDs and CDs are accepted; VHS is not.
  • Duplicates of materials already in the collection are generally rejected.

While gifts are free in the sense that the library doesn't have to pay for them, there are processing costs involved. Cataloging, labeling, and ongoing space commitments are just a few of the costs involved for library materials.

General Donation Guidelines

Monetary Donations

Monetary donations can be an excellent way to support our collections as well as the services and facilities of the libraries. The donor may designate a specific fund be set up in a particular subject area or topic. The donor can contribute directly through the CUA Office of University Development using the online gift form. Under Designations, click the radio button for 'Please click here to designate your gift', then select 'Mullen Library'.


A letter of acknowledgment is sent to the donor unless the donor deems this unnecessary. The letter will acknowledge the number of volumes donated but not each individual title. The donor is responsible for an itemized list if he wants it included in the letter. Bookplates can be added to books in the donor's name and a note to the donation will be made in the online catalog record.

Donations and Tax Benefits

By law, librarians cannot appraise gifts. Donors can find appraisers at the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America, the American Booksellers Association or the American Society of Appraisers, to name a few. Tax forms and guidelines can be found at the Internal Revenue Service website. The following forms and pamphlets may prove useful:

  • IRS Form 8283 (Noncash Charitable Contributions)
  • Publications 526 (Charitable Contributions)
  • Publications 561 (Determining the Value of Donated Property)

The donor is encouraged to consult with his tax advisor on the value of donated material and what can be claimed legally.

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