Gifts in Kind

From the earliest days of the Library Company’s existence, our collections have grown through gifts and bequests of printed material and artifacts—in addition to purchase. In fact, some of our most important holdings have been received as gifts, including the libraries of Dr. James Rush, Rev. Samuel Preston, and Anne Hampton Brewster.

For those who may have rare early American books, prints, photographs, paintings or items of ephemera in their personal collections, a gift to the Library Company can be an effective way to ensure that precious items are expertly cared for and preserved, as well as being digitized, exhibited, and made available to researchers. A gift of material can also have tax advantages for the donor.

The Library Company also encourages financial contributions to support the processing, cataloging, and conservation of gifts of material, when a donor is in a position to do so.  An additional gift of this kind can help ensure that we have the resources necessary to promptly accession your books, prints, or ephemera and make them accessible to scholars and website visitors without delay.

Most gifts of material are simply brought in or mailed to us by the donor, although for gifts of exceptional size or value we can make special arrangements. We will send a letter of acknowledgment with a description of your gift within two weeks of receipt. We will not assign a monetary value to your gift, but we can help arrange an independent appraisal should you wish, and can also help estimate the cost of processing and preserving your items.

Should you have any questions about whether or not items you are considering donating fit within our collecting scope, please do not hesitate to contact Librarian James Green at or 215-546-3181. And thank you for allowing the Library Company of Philadelphia to be the steward of your valuable historical material!




Anna Claypoole Peale (1791-1878)
Jacob Ridgway (1768-1843); Phoebe Anne Ridgway Rush (1799-1857); James Rush (1786-1869), 1829. Watercolor on ivory.

Bequest of Dr. James Rush, 1869.