College & Research Libraries News

Statement on Legal Title

Developed by the Committee on Manuscripts Collections of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section. Approved by the ACRL Board of Directors on February 1, 1973, in Washington, D.C.

1. Every library should acquire proper and legal title to all gifts of books, manuscripts, and other materials, which have significant monetary value. It is recognized, however, (a) that it is often impossible to acquire title to collections many years after they have been received by the library; (b) that frequently, where small collections of materials are involved, the donor may not be certain exactly where title rests; and (c) that when single items or very small collections are involved, donors often do not wish to become involved in library gift procedures.

2. Many libraries still accept temporary deposits. As a general principle, such gifts ordinarily should not be accepted unless (a) the library has reason to believe that a temporary deposit is the only way in which the material is likely to be preserved; or (b) the library has reason to believe that a temporary deposit will in time be changed to a permanent gift; or (c) except where ownership of corporate records is governed by state and/or federal regulations.

3. Ordinarily transfer of legal title by gift is accomplished by a properly executed form, variously described as “Instrument of Gift” or “Certificate of Gift.” This form should include the following; (a) name and address of the donor; (b) description of the gift; (c) statement of transfer of legal title, and where possible and applicable, copyrights and literary rights; (d) any restrictions; (e) directions concerning disposal of unwanted items.

The form must be (1) signed and dated by the donor and (2) witnessed and dated by another party who is neither related to the donor nor employed by the institution receiving the gift.

An additional evidence of proof would be the notarization of the donor’s and witnesses’ signatures.

(Reprints of the above statements are available from ACRL, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611. Single copies are free of charge. Multiple copies are twenty cents (20¢) each.)

College & Research Libraries is published by the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association, 17 times yearly—6 bimonthly Journal issues and II monthly, combining July- August, News issues at 1201-05 Bluff St., Fulton, Mo. 65251. Subscription, $15.00 a year or, to members of the division, $5.00, included in dues. Circulation and advertising office: American Library Association, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, III. 60611. Second-class postage paid at Fulton, Missouri 65251.

News editor: Allan Dyson, Moffitt Undergraduate Library, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720. Associate News editor: Susana Hinojosa, Assistant Librarian, Reference Department, Moffitt Undergraduate Library. Editor: Richard M. Dougherty, University Library, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720. President, ACRL: Russell Shank. Executive Secretary, ACRL: Beverly Lynch, ALA.

Copyright © American Library Association

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