Donating documents to the BNU

Whether they are books, journals, or iconographic, artistic, musical or audiovisual documents, donations of documents by individuals and institutions are always welcome. Donations constitute valuable additions to the BNU's collections. Alongside the works that are purchased or received under the legal deposit requirement, donations constitute a way of adding to the BNU's collections that is to the advantage of all its users.
So that the documents reach the library in the best possible condition and can be incorporated in the library's collections as quickly as possible, the BNU requests that individuals and institutions wishing to donate items contact the curator or librarian responsible for the field concerned (see list below). If the donation only comprises a small number of items, compiling a list of their titles in advance will speed up handling considerably. If a sizeable collection is involved (more than fifty items), the library would prefer to receive an overall description (as specific as possible).
The library must agree to the donation before any items may be deposited.
The BNU thanks all donors for their contribution to enriching and enhancing the collections.

Types of donation

There are four types of donation. Firstly, there is the hand-to-hand donation (don manuel), which is the procedure most frequently adopted; no official documents are required - an ordinary exchange of letters is enough to document the donation, whatever its size (in terms of both volume and monetary value). The second option is the legacy (legs): the conditions are established between the donor and the BNU's Administrator, or between the donor and the BNU's Board of Administration, and an administrative investigation is carried out. A legacy may involve obligations on the part of the recipient concerning the integrity and the unity of the collection or how it is to be used. Legacies and gifting (donation) both carry tax advantages. Payment in kind (dation) is the fourth type of donation that meets the donor's requirements and desiderata.


An institution or an individual who owns a collection may also deposit the documents, thereby retaining ownership while they are kept safely by the BNU. An agreement is drawn up stating the conditions and duration of the deposit and possibly also any aspects for enhancement and incorporation in the library's other collections.


-For documents in German:
Aude Therstappen, tel.: +33 (0)3 88 25 28 01 or

-For documents on religious sciences:
Madeleine Zeller, tel.: +33 (0)3 88 25 28 36 or

-For documents about Alsace:
Jérôme Schweitzer, tel.: +33 (0)3 88 25 28 44 or

-For any other work post-1920:
Dominique Chauvineau, tel.: +33 (0)3 88 25 28 27 or

-For any iconographic or early (pre-1920) document:
Daniel Bornemann, tel.: +33 (0)3 88 25 28 20 or

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