The Catholic University of America

Religious Studies and Humanities Gift Policy

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

The Religious Studies and Humanities Services Department receives hundreds of volumes a year; a very low percentage of titles are eventually added to the collection.

Inclusion of gifts into the collections is based on the relevance to the university's mission, its teaching and research programs, the collection development policy for each subject area, the condition of the material, and the general donation guidelines.  The collection development policy for your subject area can viewed here.

General Donation Guidelines

  • Contact the respective subject librarian before bringing material to CUA. The subject librarian may request a list of titles before deciding on accepting or rejecting the offer. For large collections, an onsite visit by the librarian may be necessary.
  • Material must be in fair to good condition to be accepted. Paperbacks or hardcovers that are falling apart, have yellowed paper, or have extensive underlining, are rejected.
  • Donations of books that fit the Library's Rare Books and Special Collection guidelines should be referred to the Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections.
  • Donors are not allowed to place special restrictions on the use or disposal of the gifts.

Acceptance of Material

Once the subject librarian has accepted the donation, the material becomes the property of the university to dispense with in the following ways:

  • Add to the existing collection.
  • Sell to used book dealers and use the money to buy new books.
  • Sell in our used book fair.
  • Donate books to such organizations as the Theological Book Network, Inc. who provide books to students in African and Asian countries.


A letter of acknowledgement is sent to the donor unless the donor deems this unnecessary. Bookplates can be added to books in the donor's name.

Monetary Donations

Monetary donations can be an excellent way of building parts of our collections. The donor may designate a specific fund be set up in a particular subject area or topic. Please consult our Giving to University Libraries page.

Donations and Tax Benefits

As required by law, librarians cannot appraise gifts. Donors can find appraisers at the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America. 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)

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