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Collection Policy & Book Donations: Home

Collection and Donations Policy at the University of Southampton Libraries
The Collection Management Policy sets out the principles according to which Library Services acquires, maintains, stores and makes accessible the collections it holds. In addition, you can find below the current donation policy 

Donations Policy

The University Library really appreciates it if people offer to donate books and other items to our Collections. Not all offers can be accepted, however, so please do check with us before bringing any items into the Library. Library shelving is very precious space and we need to be very selective about the items we include in our Collections. Please don't be surprised or upset if we politely decline your kind offer.
In the first instance, please email, we will ask you to provide a list of the items that you have to donate (In the case of books: author, title, edition, publisher and date). Our academic librarians, archives and other staff will then consider these details in relation to these criteria:


We will usually accept donations, if

  • They are on subjects for which the University has a relevant department and courses
  • They are extra copies of current textbooks
  • They have been published recently and are in very good physical condition
  • They are authored by members of the University of Southampton
  • They fill gaps in journal runs
  • They were published before 1850
  • They are examples of fine printing from private presses

We will usually decline offers, if:

  • They are on subjects not taught, or represented by a University department
  • They are old, superseded editions of textbooks
  • Journals duplicate existing holdings
  • Journals are incomplete runs of titles not in stock
  • Items are in poor physical condition:
    • Pages show signs of damp, mould or spotting
    • The cover is loose or damaged
    • There are loose, damaged or missing pages
    • There are handwritten notes or underlining in the text
    • There are obtrusive marks of ownership
    • They come from another library and have their ownership stamps


If your donations are accepted, the Library does so without obligation and the items will be subject to the same stock management criteria as other items in our Collections. The Library is not able to arrange or pay for transport of donations.

If your donation is in good condition, but is not suitable for the University Library to accept, please consider:

  • donating the items to a local charity shop: Oxfam Books and Music in Southampton
  • selling the items online e.g. via Amazon or eBay

If you require further information you can also contact the Library using the following methods:


Telephone: 023 80 592180

Address: University Library, University of Southampton, University Road, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ.