Material Donation Policy

Thank you for your interest in donating materials to the University of Mississippi Libraries. To continue providing a collection of relevant, scholarly books, we are highly selective in the types of donated materials that we can accept. Books and manuscripts that are potentially valuable may not always fall within our scope. Gifts are accepted subject to the policies of the University of Mississippi and with the understanding that the University, upon receipt of said gift, becomes the owner of the donated material and reserves the right to determine retention, location, cataloging treatment, and other considerations relating to its use or disposition. Please read the policy below to see if UM Libraries are the best fit for your donation.

Unless a formal gift is established, donors are required to complete a Donor Form itemizing the number and type of materials included in the gift. The Library Development Officer will then provide a letter of acknowledgement to the donor, which will include a brief description of the type of materials included in the gift. The Libraries is unable to provide the donor with an author/title list of the materials included in their gift. Additionally, Internal Revenue Service regulations prohibit the Libraries and the University from providing the donor with a monetary appraisal of the gift. Such appraisals are the responsibility of the donor, as is obtaining tax advice related to gifts.

Part I: General Collections

Scholarly materials, including books may be appropriate gifts for the general collection if they support the University’s unique teaching and research needs. All gifts will be evaluated by their relevance of content to curricula and/or research programs, support of overall collection development priorities, and physical condition.

The Libraries discourage donations of outdated textbooks, offprints, current newspapers, magazines or loose issues of journals, audiovisual materials, homemade copies in any format and materials in poor condition or heavily underlined are generally not accepted. We do not accept laboratory or repair manuals, workbooks, photocopies, and most artifacts (objects) for the general collection. The Libraries will decline offers of gifts if they unnecessarily duplicate existing holdings, if the subject matter is outside the scope of its collections, or if there are donor restrictions that the Libraries cannot honor. Donors should provide itemized lists as set forth above.

Individuals or groups within or outside the University community must not accept gifts on behalf of the Libraries without first consulting with the Dean of Libraries.

Part II: Archives & Special Collections

The University of Mississippi’s Department of Archives & Special Collections accepts gifts of books,
manuscripts, and other materials that enrich its existing collections and support the instructional and research programs of the University. Gifts of manuscripts may involve additional considerations to be discussed between the University and the donor. Other gifts may not be accepted if they duplicate existing material in the Library's collections or if their condition would require extensive preservation or preparation before they could be added to the collection. Special Collections may decline to accept certain gifts, including those which are not within the scope of its collections or that do not support the instructional and research programs of the university.

The Department of Archives & Special Collections collects works related to the following:

  • Mississippi history, including cultural and social works and relevant theses and dissertations.
  • Works of fiction written by Mississippians and alumni of the University of Mississippi.
  • Autobiographies of Mississippians and biographies about Mississippians.
  • Periodicals, newsletters, maps, broadsides, and printed ephemera relating to Mississippi.
  • Private papers documenting Mississippians and their government at both the national and state levels.
  • Rare and research-worthy materials within the scope of southern studies (with the “South” defined as the area comprised of the former states of the Confederacy).
  • Southern fiction not generally held in other collections.
  • Non-southern rare books are collected on a limited basis. Rarity is judged in terms of other institutional holdings of the work, monetary value, age, and condition.
  • African-American fiction and civil rights material.
  • Papers of individual Mississippians and records of corporate bodies, organizations and businesses located in Mississippi.
  • Works published by and relating to the history of the University of Mississippi.

The Blues Archive, located within the Department of Archives and Special Collections collects archival, printed, and audio materials documenting the history and roles of blues music in popular culture.

The Visual Archive and Southern Media Archive, located within the Department of Archives and Special Collections, collects photography, film, and audio materials relating to Mississippi, the University of Mississippi, and the American South.

The Modern Political Archives, located within the Department of Archives and Special Collections, seeks to acquire, preserve, and encourage research in private papers documenting Mississippians and their government at both the national and state levels.  Collecting parameters include the records of Mississippi’s congressional delegation, members of the state legislature, Mississippi political parties, political journalists and editorial cartoonists, voter registration and voter education organizations, and individuals and organizations having a significant impact on the federal or state government. 

Ole Miss logo
The University of Mississippi
P.O. Box 1848, University, MS 38677 USA
(662) 915-7211