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FLEET LIBRARY | Research Guides

Rhode Island School of Design

Giving to the Library


Due to limited space and resources, the Fleet Library is unable to accept all materials offered to us. Donations are evaluated in accordance with the Library’s collection development policies and procedures. Factors considered in the acceptance decision include: inherent value, relationship to the curricula, current research and development interests, connection to existing collections in the Library, potential duplication, and the Library’s capability to process the materials.

What We Accept

Especially valuable are books and other items that fill existing gaps in our circulating and special collections and support the RISD curriculum. Special Collections includes rare books, artists’ books, design material samples, and archival collections or records. We are currently seeking to expand and diversify our collection to increase underrepresented voices in art and design as well as new concentrations of study, including:

  • Artists and designers of color
  • Artists and designers from marginalized communities
  • Women in the arts and design
  • LGBTQ+ artists
  • Performance artists

To help determine if your potential gift might be of interest to the Library’s Special Collections, please consult this FAQ from the Association of College and Research Libraries. It covers common questions about assessing value and preservation concerns with rare and older books.

What We Do Not Accept

Although exceptions may be made for rare and unique items, the Library generally DOES NOT ACCEPT:

  • Textbooks
  • Self-published books
  • Popular fiction
  • Popular magazines
  • Newsprint publications
  • Individual issues of periodicals
  • Outmoded media (VHS, CDs, etc.)
  • Design material samples from commercial, mass-produced product lines
  • Titles we already own (check our Library catalog at
  • Books that are falling apart, have missing pages, are extensively marked up, or exhibit mold and mildew.
  • Gifts with restrictions, such as separate housing, perpetual retention, return of items not added to the collection, or restricted access.