Gift Guidelines

Moratorium on Accepting Gifts of Physical Materials

With regret, the Dalhousie Libraries has placed a moratorium on accepting gifts of physical materials (books, journals, CDs, and DVDs) until June 30, 2024.

If you have questions about this temporary change, please contact This pause in accepting gifts will provide time to process the materials already generously donated, to address space constraints and to migrate to a new library management system. This moratorium does not affect the University Archives which is still able to receive donations. 

Dalhousie University Libraries collections have benefited greatly from monetary gifts; endowments; and gifts of print, manuscript, digital or electronic material. These and other gifts-in-kind enrich and enhance existing collections and support the instructional and research programs of the University. We are grateful for the generosity of our donors.

Our approved Gift Guidelines are available in PDF format. Highlights and key contacts are also available below.

The Libraries reserve the right to accept or to reject gifts. Any restrictions or exceptional terms attached to a donation must be specified at the time of the initial offer. Gifts become the property of the University and the Libraries reserve the right to determine the final disposition of gift material. Duplicate or unwanted material may be sold, given away, or discarded.


All materials will be screened by a library liaison librarian to determine their relevance to Dalhousie University's academic mission. The following factors are typically considered:

  • alignment with current academic programs and scholarship (popular press paperbacks, cookbooks and other materials are not usually collected)
  • currency of the material where appropriate
  • physical condition
  • duplication of titles held
  • available space in the stacks


The Libraries need a descriptive list of the material being offered, especially in cases where distance makes first-hand examination of the items impractical. A descriptive list ideally indicates: titles, authors, publishers, publication dates, ISBNs, formats, and condition of proposed donations.

Unsolicited Material

The Libraries will not accept material donations that have not been screened by a liaison librarian.

Shipping Costs

Shipping and packing costs will be borne by the donor.

Appraisals and Tax Receipts

Dalhousie can provide tax receipts for donations. If an income tax receipt is required, this request should be indicated at the outset. The following limitations apply to the issuing of tax receipts:

  • Income tax receipts will not be issued for items received as review, instructor, or complimentary copies.
  • Only materials added to the collection will be evaluated for income tax purposes.
  • Revenue Canada ordinarily accepts the estimate of a library liaison librarian as the fair market value of the materials. Revenue Canada requires, however, external appraisals for collections worth more than $1,000. Where an external appraisal is requested by the donor, it will be completed at the donor's expense. The appraiser must be acceptable to both the Dalhousie Libraries and to the donor.
  • If there is a delay processing the donation and the Libraries cannot issue a tax receipt in the same year that a donation is given, this information will be communicated to the donor.

Electronic Material

It is the responsibility of those making a gift of electronic resources to abide by all licensing, copyright or public performance regulations and restrictions attached to such items.

Monetary Gifts

The Libraries accept monetary gifts to purchase materials and to support special projects and initiatives. Individual, corporate and foundation funding is actively sought to enable the Libraries to more fully serve the needs of all users.

To inquire about monetary donations or endowments to support library collections and initatives, please contact:

Sarah MacDonald Assistant Dean, Advancement | 902-476-3212

More information is available on the Give Back To Dal website.

To find out more about general policies regarding gifts please contact:

Allie Fulford
Acting Associate Dean, Resources, and Head of the Sexton Design & Technology Library
(902) 494-3255

For materials in the humanities, social sciences, sciences, management, and computer science, contact:

Elaine MacInnis
Acting Head, Killam Library
(902) 893-6670

For health sciences materials, contact:

Melissa Helwig
Associate Dean, Research & Scholarly Communications and Head, W.K. Kellogg Health Sciences Library
(902) 494-1338

For law materials, contact:

Mark Lewis
Chief Law Librarian
Sir James Dunn Law Library
(902) 494-8870

For agricultural resource materials, contact:
Elaine MacInnis, Associate Dean, Services and Head, MacRae Library
(902) 893-6670

For architecture, planning, and engineering materials, contact:
Allie Fulford
Acting Associate Dean, Resources, and Head of the Sexton Design & Technology Library
(902) 494-3255

For rare printed and music materials (recordings and scores) contact:
Karen Smith
Special Collections Librarian
(902) 494-8803

For archival materials, contact:
Michael Vandenburg
Dean of Libraries
(902) 943-8317


Dalhousie faculty and alumni are invited to discuss with the University Archivist the donation of their papers and the manuscripts of their works. More information is available on the University Archives and Special Collections Donor Information and Records Transfer webpages.