Book donations

The BTO has gratefully received some remarkable donations of valuable ornithological books which have gone into our own library or been auctioned to raise funds that make a real difference to what the BTO can achieve.

Books of special ornothological value

If you think your books are of special ornithological value and you would like to donate them to the BTO please email fundraising [at] with the subject heading Book Donations.

Please include a description of the collection, or if it’s one or a few books, please provide details of individual titles, authors, date and condition. We will come back to you as soon as we can to make arrangements for collection or give further advice.

Before you get in touch …

In the current climate the general second-hand book market does not, on the whole, seem to be moving very quickly. As a result, the BTO storeroom is now overflowing with donated books about birds, other wildlife and nature.

Before you consider donating your books to the BTO, we ask that you assess them with these questions in mind:

  1. Are they of special ornithological value? If so, they could be appropriate for the BTO library or be worthwhile selling at auction.
  2. Are they in good condition but part of incomplete sets or not out of the ordinary in terms of ornithological interest?
  3. Are they general guides and general nature books that have been well loved and used? The most loved and used guides could be valuable for other enthusiasts who browse the shelves of your local charity shops.
  4. Books can be expensive to post and to handle and transport in numbers, so it pays to be realistic about the most cost-effective way of dealing with them. Books which you sell to a local book dealer or auction might be the best option, and you may wish to kindly donate all or some of the proceeds to the BTO.

How to find out if your book is of special ornithological value

  • You can check the value of your books online. AbeBooks is a useful site where you can check values and compare the condition of your own volumes.
  • If you have a large collection of books it may be worth asking a local second-hand book dealer to assess them for you or check with auction houses in your area to see whether they provide free valuations.
  • Book dealers can offer very useful advice on what is saleable and may make you an offer for all or part of your collection depending on their interests.
  • Auction houses work on taking a percentage of the sale and will do their best to assemble interesting lots and give you realistic estimates of value.

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