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Gift & Exchange

How do I donate items to the ULS?

Ready to donate? Access the Donation Form

Before donating items, please contact the Gift and Exchange Office by phone: 412-648-3252 or by email: You will be asked to provide a brief outline of the nature of the items to be donated. The types of information that we need include:

  2. FORMAT: books/serials/cds/videotapes/microforms, etc.
  5. DATE OF PUBLICATION : were the items published recently?, within the last 10 years?, 19th century?, etc.
  6. ESTIMATE OF NUMBER OF ITEMS TO BE DONATED: how many serial issues, books, etc. You do not need to have an accurate count; an estimate of the number of volumes, boxes, or book shelves is helpful.

Please also include information on the time frame for the donation (are you moving at the end of the month and need to get the material out of the house by a certain date?, etc.)

Please note that subject area bibliographers make the determination of whether to accept a donation. Depending upon the size of the donation, some bibliographers prefer to look at a collection prior to donation, so we may need to make arrangements to view your collection in situ before accepting it.

What happens to the material that I donate?

Items donated to the ULS are reviewed by bibliographer(s). Items that the bibliographers wish to add to the collection and which are not duplicates are cataloged. If donated material is determined to be outside the scope of our collection or is a duplicate of what we already own it is often used for exchange. Duplicates may also be used to replace missing or damaged copies. Other unwanted material may be sold to raise money to purchase new books or sent to other organizations such as Better World Books, or otherwise discarded. For more information, visit our exchange program page.

Will you send me an acknowledgment of my gift?

To be sure that you receive an acknowledgment letter, please complete the Donor Information Form and enclose it with your donation. After we receive and count the material that you have donated, you will receive an acknowledgment letter and copy of the Donor Information Form.

Will you add bookplates to items that I donate?

Yes, we will add bookplates provided you have included this information in the Donor Information Form and / or contacted the Gift and Exchange with the text you wish to have on the bookplate. Please note that bookplates are not added to certain types of material and/or special collections.

Are there any items that you will not accept?

The following is a brief list of items we do not accept:

  1. Heavily damaged, annotated, and / or moldy books
  2. Photocopies of books, journal articles / reprints of journal articles
  3. Duplicate University of Pittsburgh dissertations
  4. Serial issues that duplicate our holdings
  5. Reader's Digest or other condensed books
  6. Cliffs Notes or other book summaries

If you have any questions about the type of material we will accept, please contact the Gift and Exchange Department

What types of items will you accept, and are there items that you are especially interested in?

Since the ULS is a large research library we are particularly interested in scholarly material. We are interested in recently published material, small press publications, and material in a variety of languages. We have several specialized collections including, but not limited to: Latin American, East Asian, and Slavic material, early American textbooks, children's literature, the Curtis Theatre Collection, the Alldred Collection of popular reading material, Stark Collection (sound recordings), and others.

If you have any questions about the type of material we will accept, please contact the Gift and Exchange Department.

Can you appraise my donation?

No. Due to IRS regulations, University of Pittsburgh staff are not permitted to appraise donations to the ULS. There are a number of local book dealers who will conduct appraisals for a fee. If a donor wishes to have his/her material appraised, it is the donor's responsibility to make arrangements and to pay for the appraisal.

How do I get my donation to you?

If it is a small donation (<3 boxes) the donation can be dropped off either at Hillman Library or at the Gift and Exchange Department at the Library Resource Facility in Point Breeze. Please see the Library Resource Facility site for more information and directions.

Please be sure to include a completed copy of the Donor Information Form, as well as contact information (name, address, phone number) with each box so that your donation can be properly acknowledged.

Larger donations can be dropped off with advance notice at Hillman Library or at the Gift and Exchange Department. However, if you are unable to to deliver the donation yourself, please notify the Gift and Exchange Department; we may be able to arrange for the pick-up of the donation. If you require pick-up of the material, please provide the Gift and Exchange Office with as much notice as possible (ideally 10-14 days' notice).

Once I donate material, can it be returned to me if you do not add it to your collection?

No. The University Library System, upon receipt of the gift material becomes the owner of the material.

How do I contact the Gift and Exchange Department for additional information?

Phone: 412-648-3252


University Of Pittsburgh
University Library System
Gift And Exchange Department, Room 121
7500 Thomas Boulevard
Pittsburgh, Pa 15260