Cornish Library Gifts & Donations

Monetary Gifts for the Library Collection Fund

Monetary gifts in support of the Library are always welcome. Monetary gifts can be earmarked to purchase materials for a specific subject (art, dance, design, humanities and sciences, music, theater or performance production) or format (books, scores, sound recordings or videos). Gifts can also be left to the discretion of the Library to purchase what is needed most.

To make a gift, please contact the Office of Institutional Advancement. Specify that your gift is for the Library Collection Fund 210-4360-5340-00000. 

Gifts of Materials for the Library Collection

We are very appreciative of donation offers for the Library collection, however we do not have space to accept large collections.

Contact Hollis Near, Director of Library Services, to discuss any gifts of books, scores, recordings, etc. Please do not drop off gifts at the Library without making prior arrangements.

We are currently open to donations in the following areas:

  • Scripts for newer plays (2000 to the present).
  • Chamber music scores with parts.
  • Materials related to the history of Cornish: photographs, correspondence, scrapbooks, programs, etc. (See Cornish Archives)

The Materials Donations Process

  1. We discuss the gift before accepting. We sincerely appreciate all offers of library donations, but please understand we need to ask questions to determine if the material is appropriate for the collection. We have limited space and need to discuss the contents and officially accept the gift before delivery can be made.
  2. Donations are reviewed. All donations are subject to review. We are particularly concerned about subject relevance to the collection, physical condition and available storage space.
  3. Lists are helpful. It is helpful if you can provide us with a list of titles you wish to donate so we can check to see what we already own. However, a list is not required and with some larger gifts it may not be not practical.
  4. We cannot pick up donations. Donations need to be delivered to the College; we do not have staff available to drive to people’s homes. (In certain circumstances when someone is not able to drive, we have made special arrangements on a case-by-case basis.) Please discuss any issues with donation delivery with the library director if you have concerns.
  5. Donations become College property which can be sold. Once accepted, most gifts items are added to the collection. However, at some point any item may be sold to a dealer to raise money for other library titles or traded for other library titles or removed from the collection for updating. (See Gift Policy below.)
  6. Donations may also be given away. We do not hold book sales so we try not to accept materials we cannot use. If we discover any unneeded titles that are not good candidates for resale or trade, they are usually put on a “free” table for the students and faculty.
  7. Donations may be withdrawn later from the collection. Library collections are periodically weeded and titles are removed for a variety of reasons including condition, currency, and relevancy.  Donated items will be withdrawn in the same manner as purchased material. The Library cannot accept responsibility for notifying donors of withdrawal or replacement of gift items.

Donations of Artist Materials

Cornish Library is not a regional archives for the arts. Cornish Library is a working college collection that is used heavily by students and faculty. The Library cannot function as a permanent archive for personal papers, artists’ works or personal book collections that require special housing. Anything given to the library needs to become part of the general, circulating collection. We cannot accommodate gifts that require special handling or other special conditions. Please also note, the Library does not have a facility for rare books and manuscripts.

Donations of Cornish Historical Materials

If you have material that is specifically relevant to the history of Cornish College of the Arts, please talk to the Library Director. The Library does maintain a small collection of Cornish publications, photographs, miscellaneous documents and ephemera. The University of Washington also has a collection of material from the early days of Cornish’s history. See Cornish Archives.

Other Questions About Donations?

If you have something not addressed here, please contact the Director of Library Services to discuss.

Materials Gift Policy

Upon receipt, all gift materials become the property of Cornish College of the Arts Library. Cornish Library reserves the right to determine retention, location, cataloging treatment and other considerations relating to the use and disposition of gifts. Materials not selected for addition to the collection may be sold, donated to students or faculty, recycled, discarded or otherwise disposed. Proceeds from the sale of any unselected items are used to purchase additional titles for the Cornish Library.

Where to Deliver Your Gift

Please make delivery arrangements with the Library prior to dropping off donations. We have very limited space and need to discuss the contents and officially accept your donation before you delivery it.

For current Library hours, location or to print map and parking information, please view our contact information.

Acknowledging Donations

Gift items that are added to the library collection are reported to the Cornish Office of Institutional Advancement and acknowledged with a letter. Acknowledgments typically include the date the donation was received, a brief description of the donation and the total number of items donated.  If you are making a donation and require an itemized list of titles, we recommend that you prepare an inventory list of your materials and include a copy of that list with your donations.

Donor Recognition on Gifted Materials

Upon request, the Library can add bookplates to gifted materials showing the donor’s name. We reserve the right to make exceptions for certain formats or rare or fragile materials. Some donors prefer not to be publicly recognized. Please advise the Library of your preference.

Gift Selection

Although we try to discuss all materials in advance and only accept titles we can use, some gifts (like boxes of unidentified titles) have to be evaluated after delivery to the Library. In such cases, each donated item is reviewed for addition to the collection by librarians with subject specialties in the visual and performing arts. After that review, we decide which materials will be added to the collection. Due to our workload, we are not able to notify donors of each title’s disposition or return those items not added to the collection.

Tax Information & Appraisals

Some donors require a receipt for tax purposes. The Cornish Office of Institutional Advancement provides an acknowledgment letter which functions as a receipt of goods. This letter does not include an appraisal of fair market value. IRS laws prohibit the Library and its employees from assessing the monetary value of any donated goods or “gifts-in-kind.”

As a donor, you are responsible for determining your personal tax obligations and whether your donations require appraisal. The IRS recommends that the appraisal of books “should be done by a specialized appraiser.”

For more information about appraising materials donations, please consult IRS Form 561 Determining the Value of Donated Property and IRS Form 8283 Noncash Charitable Contributions. If you do not have Internet access, you may call 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676) 24 hours a day to have copies of the publications mailed to you. Consult the forms directly for full details and required documentation.

For more general information on appraisals and old/rare books you may be interested in a document entitled Your Old Books published by the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association.