Our libraries have benefited from many donations of printed materials that have helped to develop the library’s collections. However, not all materials are suitable for our collections.

Donations terms and conditions

We are only able to accept donations which:

  • support the current or future teaching, learning, or research needs of the university, or
  • support or enhance existing collections, or
  • are materials of particular rarity or historical interest, or
  • are copies of the latest edition of a textbook, in excellent condition, without damage or marking

We regret that the following types of material are generally unsuitable:

  • duplicates of existing stock
  • out-of-date or damaged editions of textbooks
  • popular fiction
  • popular non-fiction

Donations can only be accepted on the condition that they become the property of the University of Birmingham. We retain the right to make available, locate, use, retain or dispose of items according to its own judgement.


If bookplates are required, we can help in the creation of these but you would bear the cost.


  • We would not normally pay the delivery costs of a donation. Delivery internal to the University can be arranged by the donor via the University's Portering Service, but any costs incurred would have to be borne by you.
  • We cannot recommend external courier services.

Rare or manuscript material

The above conditions do not apply to rare or manuscript material being offered to Special Collections.

Please contact Special Collections directly for advice.

Guidance notes for donors

  • Contact details: Please provide your name and email address. 
  • Subject area of donation: Where possible we would like you to give the subject area of the donation.
  • List of items: A list of items will speed up checking of the donation and a decision on whether to accept the donation. If you are unable to provide a complete list of items, please provide a smaller list of a representative sample of authors and titles. 
  • Size of donation: In order to ensure we have enough space to hold a donation whilst it is being processed we would need to know the size of it. Approximate size in linear metres and number of books would be very useful.
  • Type of material: Is the donation books, periodicals, other types of material, or a mixture?
  • How the donation would enhance the collection: Strong reasoning for how the donation would support the aims of the University and enhance the collection will help the case for acceptance of a donation.
    • How will the donation support existing or future learning?
    • Will it support subjects currently being taught?
    • How will it enhance the Library’s collection?
  • If you are not able to supply this information yourself, the details of your proposed donation will be shared with relevant academic staff to help make this assessment.

Please complete our donations form with the above information.