If you own a valuable or significant cultural work such as a painting, or a manuscript or a collection of photographs, and would like to donate them, we’d love to hear from you. Artworks, manuscripts, and collections of photographs all help to tell the history of Australia

What are the benefits of the Cultural Gifts Program?

  • Any donation you make under the Cultural Gifts Program (CGP) is fully tax deductible.
  • The tax deduction is based on the item’s market value at the time of donation. 
  • You can spread your tax deduction over five years. Find out more about the tax deduction benefits under the Cultural Gifts Program.
  • Your generous donation will be recognised and your name can be listed on the catalogue record if you wish.
  • Your donation will preserve Australia’s cultural heritage for future generations. It will be admired and enjoyed as part of a living record in our rich and diverse collections.

The donated papers of celebrated author Mem Fox

Beloved Australian children's author Mem Fox generously donated papers to the National Library of Australia under the Cultural Gifts Program. This fascinating collection contains some fun correspondence with schoolchildren, letters to other Australian children’s writers such as Morris Gleitzman and Terry Denton and a first draft of the classic, Possum Magic. It gives a real insight into the life of one of Australia's most adored writers. The Papers of Mem Fox is one of the Library’s most valued literary treasures.

What you need to know before offering a donation

  • We can only accept a gift if it fits with our Collection Development Policy
  • A good rule of thumb is that the work or collection needs to be of high cultural or research value. It should be something that the Library would have actively paid for anyway, if it hadn’t been offered as a gift (for example the papers of playwright David Williamson)
  • The minimum market value of your gift should be at least $10,000. Anything below that and the valuation and administrative costs may be more than the item is worth
  • The NLA may not be able to accept more than one cultural gift from a donor in a single financial year
  • Everything the Library collects is intended to be made available to the public so we prefer there are no restrictions placed on donations. We understand that there are circumstances when donors want to put restrictions on items. Just be aware that access restrictions may affect the valuation of your gift
  • You’ll need to let us know of the current ownership and copyright status of the gift
  • We strongly recommend that you talk to your financial adviser about the Program to decide if it is worthwhile for you

How valuations work

When a work is donated, the NLA commissions two independent valuations and pays the valuers’ fees. Valuers are chosen from the List of Approved Valuers and have proven expertise in assessing relevant items. The NLA will inform you of the average valuation before we submit your CGP application.