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The Importance of Library Gift Materials

For over more than 60 years, the USAFA's McDermott Library was greatly enriched by thousands of gift items to the collections. Gifts provided valuable resources to cadets, faculty, graduates, visiting scholars, and friends who depended on the USAFA for teaching, study, and research. Gifts helped strengthen the library's holdings, filled in missing issues of periodicals, replaced lost or damaged books, and added primary source research materials to the collections.

Financial Contributions

The McDermott Library welcomes memorials or honorary gifts-in-kind or monetary donations from Academy graduates, faculty, and friends. These gifts may be directed to the McDermott Library, The Friends of the Academy Library, or the Academy's Gifts and Memorials Office.

Donations to the Library General Collection

While the McDermott Library appreciates the donation of materials that strengthen the collection and support the Academy's academic programs, due to decreased storage space, reduced staffing, and increased electronic book access, the McDermott Library does not accept gift-in-kind donations to the General Collection. Potential donors may wish to consider donating the materials to another library, such as Air University LibraryAir Force Institute of Technology D'Azzo Research Library, or Pritzker Military Museum and Library.

Donations to the Clark Special Collections Branch

The Clark Special Collections branch, a working archive, continues to accept and permanently preserve irreplaceable, unpublished, primary-source materials (i.e. diaries, personal papers, letters, manuscripts, identified photographs) for use by cadets, military, and civilian researchers. Through the work of The Friends of the Academy Library, dedicated volunteers, and many others who generously give their materials, this repository keeps the Air Force legacy alive among cadets, faculty, visiting scholars and writers of airpower history.

Donors of special materials or donors wishing to make arrangements for the special handling of gift materials may contact the Clark Special Collections BranchFriends of the Academy Library or the Academy's Office of Gifts and Memorials. While the Library continues to welcome gifts of unique materials for our Special Collections, we typically cannot accept donations of large collections of commercially published books. 

General Policy Information for Donated Materials

Potential donors of books should provide the Library with a list of items for its review. The Library will select items that are judged especially significant for the library’s collections. However, the Library cannot accept non-selected items.

  • The Library especially welcomes gifts of unique materials for its Special Collections, including personal papers, diaries, letters, manuscripts, photographs, memorabilia, and rare books. Potential donors should contact the Special Collections Branch or The Friends of the Academy Library, as indicated above.
  • Donors receive a formal letter of acknowledgment, but not an inventory, from the Library (donors supply such a list with their donation). Letters of acknowledgement will be sent to the person or agency that shipped the gift to the Library. That person is then responsible for disseminating the letter to secondary or third-party donors.
  • In accordance with IRS regulations, the Academy will make no appraisal of the value of gifts but will, upon request, help the donor find an appropriate appraiser who would negotiate directly with and be paid by the donor. Written appraisals received with donations will be acknowledged in the gift receipt letter.
  • Gifts are reported officially to the Academy’s Office of Gifts and Memorials.
  • All accepted donations become the sole property of the Air Force and are reviewed periodically as to the potential long-term value to the collection and to the usefulness in cadet and faculty study and research.
  • The Library does not accept classified materials as gifts. Formerly classified materials must indicate that they have already been reviewed and declassified by appropriate government authorities.
  • The donor passes all applicable rights to the donation to the Air Force including, but not limited to, the reproduction and dissemination of materials into various formats.
  • Donations cannot be accepted for which the donor requests a return for any reason.
  • There can be no stipulation that any donated materials will be retained as a discrete collection (manuscript collections and unit histories being the exceptions) or put on any public display.
  • The Library reserves the right to determine the retention, location, cataloging treatment, and other considerations relating to the use or disposition of gifts. All gifts are kept in compliance with IRS regulations for gifts-in-kind.
  • The donor is responsible for the costs of packing and shipping donated materials to the Academy.