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Donating books

The Library does not actively seek donations of printed material. We can only accept material which directly supports teaching and research at the University, and which is in line with our collection development priorities.

What we can't accept

In general, we don’t accept:

  • duplicates
  • physical editions of items we hold electronically
  • back runs of print journals
  • textbooks which are out of date
  • material in obsolete or inaccessible formats
  • items which are not in excellent condition

Why is our donations policy so strict?

We apply the same criteria to donations that we do when buying books, because there are so many hidden costs.

Space is a major factor, too - we have over 4 million items in stock. For these reasons, we can only justify accepting and making space for donations if they contribute directly to the work of the University.

What if we can't accept your books?

If we receive an item we can't use, we dispose of it ethically.

As an alternative to donating to us; a number of charities and social enterprises positively welcome books for sale or redistribution, and we encourage you to make a difference by considering sending your books to them.

Please see our page on Alternative recipients for donations‌ for further options including charitable donations.

Contact us

If you’re thinking of offering material to the Library please contact the Donations Assessment Team using our book donations form, including a list of the items. Please note that we cannot arrange or pay for transport of material and do not usually insert bookplates.

If you have older books which may be of particular interest to the Library, contact our Special Collections on for advice.

Support the Library in other ways

A financial contribution is a practical way to support the work of the Library. We currently accept financial donations for the John Rylands Research Institute and Library. 

If you would like to consider this, please refer to our 'Support' pages: