Donations policy

The Library receives a large number of donations from individuals and organisations within Victoria and elsewhere. They are an important source of material, both published and unpublished, for developing the State Collection. Donations also offer the opportunity to fill gaps in the collection, to replace material in poor condition due to high usage, and to expand collecting into areas of high demand or emerging public interest.

Acceptance of donations is not necessarily automatic. Donations are subject to the same guidelines and collecting considerations which apply to purchased material. The cost of cataloguing, storage and conservation are also important considerations in determining acceptance.

There are occasions when the Library will consider accepting significant private collections that fall outside our guidelines. Acceptance of such collections is at the discretion of the Selection Committee.

Donated items only become part of the Library's collection after they have been accepted by staff of the Library who are authorised to do so, and are then accessioned. Responsibility for the acceptance of donated material is delegated to:

  • Director Development
  • Director Collection Management and Access
  • Manager Collection Management
  • Acquisitions Manager
  • Monograph Acquisitions Librarian
  • Arts Librarian
  • Australian History & Literature Librarian
  • Manuscripts Librarian
  • Genealogy Librarian
  • Collection Services Manager
  • Map Librarian
  • Newspaper Librarian
  • Picture Librarian
  • Rare Printed Collections Manager
  • Redmond Barry Librarian
  • Librarians in charge of the:
    - Riley Collection and Ephemera Collection
    - Theatre Programs Collection
    - Australian Art and Artists (AAA) Collection

When material is accepted and added to the State Collection the Library reserves the right to catalogue, store, conserve, and provide access to material at its discretion. For material that is not accepted for the collections the Library reserves the right to dispose of material in accordance with the methods of disposal as outlined in the Retention & withdrawal of information policy. However, the Library will always return any unwanted material to the donor if requested at the time of donation.

As a general principle, the Library does not accept donations offered under conditions imposed by the donor. However there may be exceptions. In deciding whether or not to accept conditional donations, the Library takes into account the importance of the material, the reasonableness of the conditions requested, and the cost to the Library of accepting the conditions. Acceptance of conditional donations is at the discretion of authorised collection managers.

Taxation incentives for cultural donations

The Library is eligible to accept donations under the Cultural Gifts Program, a section of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. The Cultural Gifts Program provides tax incentives to encourage gifts of culturally significant items to Australia's public art galleries, museums, libraries and archives. For information on the terms under which the Library will accept material for donation under the Program see the Cultural gifts policy. The Library welcomes inquiries about such donations.