Donating items while Library buildings are temporarily closed
We are very grateful to those who offer donations for the national collections. Unfortunately, at this time, we are unable to accept donations of physical material without prior arrangement.
Please email the Acquisitions Team at firstname.lastname@example.org with details of the item(s) that you would like to donate. If we accept your offer, we will get in touch to arrange delivery once we are able to receive donations. Thank you for your patience and understanding meantime.
We do not have a single contact point for people who may want to donate a book or other item to the National Library of Scotland. The questions here are designed to guide your initial enquiry to the right source.
To invest in the development of the Library by making a financial donation, please visit the Support NLS pages.
What we collect
Everything that we accept for our collections is assessed to ensure that it meets our Collection Development Policy.
We are particularly keen to consider offers of items by Scottish authors, with Scottish subject matter or connections. We collect on a selective basis according to the policy. Therefore, we are unable to accept all donation offers.
Please note that we do not usually accept duplicates. It is a good idea to search our Library Catalogue to see if we already hold the item you wish to donate prior to contacting the Library.
Sending us donations
To ensure the donation process goes smoothly, we appreciate you contacting us first to discuss your proposed donation before sending or bringing anything to our buildings.
Please note the following conditions:
- We reserve the right not to pay any postal, customs or import charges for donations sent without prior agreement
- We may dispose of items that have been donated without a donation agreement in place
- We may hold, use or otherwise deal with donated items in accordance with usual Library practices
- We cannot guarantee that we will be able to return donated items to donors once they have been sent to the Library.
Types of donation items
Is the item a manuscript?
A handwritten book or book published only as a single copy is described as a 'manuscript'. The term also applies to letters and handwritten poems, diaries and journals.
Yes? See our Manuscripts Collections section.
Is the item a map, or a book mainly about or containing maps or relating to maps?
Yes? See our Maps Collections section.
Is the item a piece of music, or about music?
Yes? See our Music Collections section.
Was the book published before 1900?
Before? See our Rare Books Collections section.
After? Please email the Acquisitions team.
If the item you wish to donate is a book, journal, magazine, newspaper, programme, leaflet, poster or similar published since 1900, please contact the Acquisitions Team.
If the item you wish to donate is a film, videotape, DVD or digital recording, see the Moving Image Archive's Help us collect page.
For general enquiries, or if the item you have to donate is not covered by the categories above, email our Acquisitions Team.