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Gifts, Bequests, Endowed Book Funds

DeGolyer Library is always appreciative of gifts of materials, whether single books or entire collections. Indeed, without donations, our efforts at collection development would be severely handicapped. If a particular gift is not appropriate for our collection, we'll help suggest other libraries that might be able to use your materials. We've prepared a brief guide for donors of archival materials.

We are also grateful for direct financial support, above and beyond annual gifts to the Friends of SMU Libraries. All cash gifts to DeGolyer Library are fully tax-deductible. DeGolyer Library receives no funding from SMU's operating budget and is entirely dependent on endowment income and the generosity of alumni and friends. Your check can make a tremendous difference in developing a strong rare books program at SMU.

Making a Charitable Bequest

DeGolyer Library can be a beneficiary of your estate if you include a bequest in your will stating simply that a certain dollar amount, or a certain asset (such as real estate or securities or a book or print collection), or a certain percentage of your estate shall pass to DeGolyer Library. If you already have a will but it does not yet include a charitable bequest to DeGolyer Library, you can amend it with a codicil. A bequest may also be made in honor or in memory of another individual. All outright bequests to DeGolyer Library are exempt from federal estate taxes, and there is no limitation on the size of the gift.

Your bequest can be completely unrestricted, or you can designate that it be used for a particular purpose, for example to fund acquisitions, research fellowships, or publications, or to endow a particular position. The Director of the Library and the SMU Office of Development would be pleased to discuss your plans and wishes with you.

In 1974, the transfer of the assets of the DeGolyer Foundation to Southern Methodist University made possible the creation of this special collections library. Your bequest will build on this tradition and enable us to continue to serve the advanced research needs of SMU students and professors as well as the wider community of scholars.

Endowed Book Funds

DeGolyer Library strongly encourages alumni and friends to consider establishing endowed funds for rare books. For SMU to compete successfully with other research libraries around the country, a robust acquisitions budget is essential. Whether named for individuals or families, endowed book funds at DeGolyer will provide critical income for the expansion of our collections. Book funds can be completely unrestricted or restricted for certain purposes, for example to purchase materials by a particular author or in a certain field. Endowed book funds are especially useful for building the library collection in previously neglected areas.

As with all SMU endowments, the principal is never tapped and only a percentage of the income in any year is allowed to be spent. This prudent policy provides for present needs and also for future growth. The Director would be happy to discuss endowed book funds with you. According to SMU guidelines, named funds require a minimum gift of $25,000. Donations may be spread over several years. We believe that establishing a book fund at DeGolyer is perhaps the most enduring gift one can make to the University. Litera Scripta Manet. "The written word remains."


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