Donating Books and Other Materials Policy

The Howard University Library System (HULS) welcomes gifts of books and other cultural heritage materials that extend and complement existing collections in the Founders, Architecture, Business, Divinity, and Social Work Libraries, and the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. Because of the high cost of storage and processing, the Library is unable to accept all donations. Furthermore, at the present time, Founders Library is able to accept very few donations because of renovations currently underway in the Undergraduate Library and Founders Library.

Although exceptions may be made for rare and unique items, materials that fall outside of our collecting policy generally include:

  • Textbooks
  • Popular fiction/trade hardcover and paperbacks
  • Popular magazines
  • Popular fiction/trade hardcover and paperbacks
  • Titles the Library already owns (exceptions may be made in special circumstances)

Conditions of Acceptance

Gifts are accepted with the understanding that they become the property of Howard University Library System (Founders, Architecture, Business, Divinity, and Social Work Libraries and Moorland-Spingarn Research Center) upon receipt and that the HULS may make all necessary decisions as to their retention, location, cataloging, and other considerations relating to their use and disposition.

Materials accepted but not added to the Library collections may be exchanged with other libraries throughout the world, sold, or disposed of through charitable organizations, or other means. We regret we are not able to accept drop-offs of gift materials unless prior arrangements have been made.

All gifts will be reviewed by an appropriate curator or subject specialist prior to acceptance by the Library. Donors must provide a signed letter or send an email expressing their desire to give their materials to the library. Donors are encouraged to include the following information in their letter or email.

Donor name and contact information

The type of material (i.e., books, photographs, etc.)

A brief description of each item (in case of books, author, title, publisher and date of publication)

In-kind gifts to the Howard University Library System may provide you with federal and state income tax benefits. In accordance with IRS regulations, the Library cannot appraise any donations; however, a letter of acknowledgement for volumes donated to the library will be sent to each donor. This letter may be used for income tax purposes. Donors wishing to claim a tax deduction may want to consult with their income tax preparer or the U.S. Internal Revenue Service for the proper procedure.

To Contact Library Staff

If you are considering a gift to Howard University Libraries or have a question, please contact the following librarians and subject matter experts:

Thank you for considering Howard University Libraries as the home for your gifts.

For General Inquiries

General inquiries about donating books or materials to the Howard University Library System may be directed to:

Alexandra Wilson, Administrative Officer, Howard University Libraries

Email Address :

Gifts of Materials to Moorland-Spingarn Research Center

For donating gifts to the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, you may contact:
Dr. Clifford L. Muse, Jr., Associate Director, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center & University

Email Address :

Give to the Friends of the Library and Moorland-Spingarn Research Center

We Are Also Pleased to Receive Any Monetary Gifts.
Become a Friend of the Library or the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center.

Gift Designation

Click on the “Give” button below and designate your donation to :

Friends of the Library Or Friends of the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, or both.