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30 June 2010

Book Donation Policy

The California Genealogical Society Library appreciates donations of books and periodicals that have genealogical content. The generosity of many people has greatly enriched the CGS Library collections in the past. Donations will be gratefully received by the CGS Library Committee and will be reviewed by Committee members, who will make decisions regarding retention.

Desired donations include: family genealogies or family histories; county histories and local histories with biographical sketches of residents; indexes to, or abstracts of, vital records or newspapers; and genealogical periodicals. Works on CD-ROM or microfilm will be accepted if not available in other formats. 

Due to limited shelf space, NOT ALL donated items can be added to the Library collection. Examples include: encyclopedias lacking genealogical content, most biographies or autobiographies of famous persons, general histories, Who’s Who-type publications, works of fiction, photocopied books still under copyright, yearbooks, and many media materials. If received, CGS may give such items to other libraries, exchange them for more desirable works, or sell them in periodic book sales, the proceeds of which help to support Library operations.

Duplicate copies of items already owned by CGS may be retained if they are in better condition than copies currently in use. Small printed items that cannot be catalogued for the book collection may be added to the Surname File.

Donors (when known) will be identified with bookplates inside front covers noting items as gifts. Letters of thanks will be sent to donors, or to their heirs if gifts are from estates. CGS is not allowed by law to appraise or value any donation, but donors are welcome to fill out and sign the Instrument of Gift form for their uses.

Decisions regarding donations of unpublished works, such as scrapbooks, original documents, pedigree charts, correspondence, personal diaries, photographs and photo albums, will be the responsibility of the CGS Archives Committee rather than the Library Committee, or may be made jointly by both committees in special instances.

Donated items become the property of the California Genealogical Society and Library, to be used in whatever way is most beneficial to the Library. CGS reserves the right to withdraw donations from the Library collection if they become obsolete or can be replaced by newer editions. CGS does attempt to extend the useful life of withdrawn materials, whether by exchange, sale, or donation to other collections.

Copyright © 2010 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library