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The Gifts-In-Kind program at Libraries and Cultural Resources

How donations help the library, archive and gallery programs of the University of Calgary.

Scholars, collectors, creative thinkers and enthusiasts all add to the research and teaching mission of LCR through their donations. Without this generosity, the collections of the University of Calgary would be missing much of their richness, depth and individuality.

What type of material are we looking for?

Gifts-in-Kind are donations other than financial gifts. Examples include works of art, personal and corporate archives, books, music scores, photographs—basically any resources that enhance our teaching and research programs.  

To find out if the material you have would be a good fit with LCR you can contact the gifts program coordinator, who will respond and/or direct your offer to the appropriate specialist.

Molly Taylor

Some questions we’ll ask prior to accepting a donation.

The larger the donation, the more detail we usually ask before acceptance.  Here are some of the main points we like to cover:

1. Do you require a tax receipt?
Many Gifts-in-kind can be treated as charitable donations.[1] If you want a tax receipt then we’ll arrange for an evaluation of the material after it has been donated so a receipt can be issued.


  [1] Research materials purchased through a research grant or through the University of Calgary's Professional Expense Reimbursement are considered University property and donation of such materials to the University of Calgary Library is encouraged subject to regular selection criteria.  Such materials are not eligible for a tax receipt.

2. What is the nature of the material?
We try to make sure donations are within our areas of interest and will apply to our research and teaching programs. Where possible we like box or title lists to review.
Subject areas we are particularly interested in are:

  • Canadiana—history, literature, creativity, politics and architecture
  • Local/regional collections
  • Arctic Studies
  • History of Medicine, particularly Neuroscience
  • Mountain Studies
  • Military History
  • Speculative literature (Science Fiction)
  • Geology and geography

... and any collections which would significantly enhance the existing body of knowledge available through LCR.

Types of Material:

Personal Papers
Corporate Records (architecture)
…if in doubt, ask—we take in a wide range of material.

Some of the items we generally don’t accept include:

  • Individual issues or small runs of periodicals
  • VHS tapes, especially if the title is available as DVD or Blu Ray
  • Duplicates of existing holdings
  • Offprints
  • Popular music on vinyl, cassette, or CD
  • Popular fiction and non-fiction (we do accept very large Popular /significant collections of fiction, particularly speculative fiction)
  • Textbooks

3. What is the condition of the material?
Physical condition is a very important consideration.  So we’ll ask questions about storage, wear and tear, insect damage, etc.   We can’t accept material that is in poor condition, especially if there are signs of mould, insect or rodent damage.

4. What is the size of the donation?
We’ll ask about the number of items or boxes to help us understand the resources we might need to handle the donation.

5. Are there any time constraints?
Often donors need to transfer material within a specific time frame, conversely, sometimes donors are asking about gifts they plan to make in the future.

6. The conditions of donation.
We’ll review the conditions of donation.  Generally this means that once the material has been donated, the University can treat the material as its own property, e.g., storing, disposing, transferring ownership, selling and/or cataloguing as we see fit.

What are the steps involved in a donation?

1. Donor contacts Libraries and Cultural Resources. 
- We talk about the nature of the material, conditions of donation, and whether we need to visit the collection.  Site visits are usually necessary for very large or high dollar value donations.

2. We arrange for delivery of the material and the donor signs a Deed of Gift form or contract, confirming the transfer of ownership.

3. Where needed LCR arranges for the evaluation of gifts for tax receipt purposes.

4. Tax receipts are issued by the Development Office of the University of Calgary.

5. All donations added to LCR’s collection are recorded with the name of the donor.