Legacy of Books is a great way to express your personal love of books or to honor others for graduations, holidays, memorial tributes, retirements, birthdays, thanks, or any other special occasion.
“Of all the inanimate objects, of all men’s creations, books are the nearest to us, for they contain our very thoughts, our ambitions, our indignations, our illusions, our fidelity to truth, and our persistent leaning toward error. But most of all they resemble us in their precarious hold on life.” – Joseph Conrad
Preserve the past. Protect the future.
Imagine that the written record of human thought and endeavor were slowly disintegrating, eventually becoming unreadable. Today Washington University Libraries, with holdings approaching 4 million books and other media, face that daunting dilemma, as age and use take a steady toll. If our extraordinary collections are to be passed on intact to future generations, we must act. Help us preserve our past and protect our future giving to the Libraries’ Legacy of Books program.
How the program works
The Legacy of Books program extends the life of the Libraries’ collections – not just books but also periodicals, manuscripts, government documents, rare books, and sound and moving image recordings. Repairs are done by the Libraries’ Preservation Unit or by independent professional conservators.
A tax-deductible gift of $100 covers the cost of preserving one library book or other item or reproducing it in another medium. Larger gifts cover multiple items or more costly conservation projects. Names of the donor and honoree will be inscribed on a special bookplate and will appear in the online catalog entry.
People who give to this program understand that keeping existing library materials available is as important as acquiring new library materials. Some give to express their love of books, other to memorialize someone or to celebrate a graduation, anniversary, birthday, or other special event. This generosity helps the Libraries conserve damaged or deteriorating materials faster and gets materials back in the hands of users.
The Libraries’ wish list
Library books that are particularly rare or unique often require expensive conservation efforts. Donors who give $1,000 or more may choose from a wish list of endangered library materials that have been prioritized for professional conservation. Visit The Libraries’ wish list or call Toni Reel (314-935-6917) for a current list. This site also shows some books that have been conserved through the generosity of donors to this program.
All gifts to this program are tax-deductible.
|Gift Amount||Gift Recognition & Other Benefits|
|$200-999||All the above benefits plus
|$1000 or more||All the above benefits plus
To make your gift, use this form. Or for a copy of the Legacy of Books brochure, call the Director of Development for University Libraries, Mary Druyvesteyn, at 314-935-5219 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.