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RDS@UF: Bookplates / Donations

Resource Description Services department procedures and policies

Last updated April 2023 by Sam Fraleigh


Bookplates / Donations

The Acquisitions and Collections Services Department (AcqCS) and the Resource Description Services Department (RDS) work collaboratively with the Development Office, Collection Managers, and the Special and Area Studies Collections Department (SASC) to coordinate procedures related to donor, honoree, endowment, and other special purchases. The departments support efforts to publicly acknowledge individual and corporate donations by providing access to donor, honoree, endowment, and collection names through the catalog. 

  • Using virtual bookplates is the preferred method for recognizing donations. 
  • Physical bookplates are only used in exceptional circumstances.

Grants and endowments: the Acquisitions and Collections Services Department and the Resource Description Services Department use a semi-annual automated method to add donor information to the catalog for items purchased through grant and endowment funds. 


Gift collections and individual purchases: The Development Office, Collection Managers, or Special and Area Studies Collections Department librarians contact the Acquisitions and Collections Services Department with the following information when an item is designated a donor or honoree gift.  The Libraries' Public Information Officer should be contacted in advance to arrange to have a customized bookplate created.

  • Name of donor, honoree, or collection
  • Type of note to be added to the catalog:
    • Gift of
    • Gift in memory of
    • Gift in honor of
    • Gift in celebration of
    • [Name of collection]
  • It is permissible to use additional gift notes to accommodate special requests.  Gift notes can be combined as needed also, e.g., Gift of Sue Jones in memory of Robert Jones.
  • Examples:
    • Gift of Marcia Andrews
    • Gift in memory of Robert Smith
    • Gift in honor of Lynne Anderson
    • Gift in celebration of Gregory T. Smith, Jr.
    • The Caribbean Collection
  • Requests for bookplates are sometimes received via the department's bookplate email list. These generally come from Libraries' Administration or the Development Office. Sam Fraleigh monitors this email box and coordinates with department staff to process requests received this way.



Gift items and collections:

  • AcqCS flags the item with the name of the donor, honoree, or collection;
  • AcqCS sends the item to the Copy Cataloging Unit. 
  • The Copy Cataloging Unit distributes the item for cataloging according to the guidelines below.

Individual purchases (non-grant, non-endowment):

  • The Collections Support Unit in the Acquisitions and Collections Services Department flags items with the donor designation and sends them to the Copy Cataloging Unit.

**Catalogers should check with Sam Fraleigh to see if an existing bookplate is already in use for a given donor or endowment before processing a bookplate request in Alma. We are trying to maintain authority control over the names used in the bibliographic and holdings records so that names are consistent in the public catalog. Sam maintains a master list of donor names and bookplate URLs. We want to avoid situations where the user finds numerous variations for the same donor, collection, or endowment in the catalog, e.g., "Gift of Joe Smith", "Gift of Dr. Joseph Smith", "Gift of Joseph R. Smith", "Given by Joseph Smith", etc. all representing donations from the same person.**


CATALOGING GUIDELINE (individual donor electronic bookplates)


Bibliographic record

  • For personal names: add the name of the donor(s) and/or honoree(s) in a 937 local extension* field.*  1st indicator = 1, and 2nd indicator = 3. 
  • For corporate body, collection, or endowment names: add the name(s) of the corporate body, collection, or endowment in a 939 local extension.*  1st indicator = 2, and 2nd indicator = 3.
  • NOTE! The 937 and 939 fields are keyword accessible through Primo. 
    • Those with 2nd indicator 3 are included in a donor facet in Primo.
  • *ALSO! When adding a 937/939, please be sure to do so as a “Local Extension” (keyboard shortcut Ctrl + L), and not just as a basic field. This replaces the use of |5 KEEPUF |5 FU in Aleph.
  • If you have a corporate body, collection, or endowment name that starts with "The", remove that from the beginning of the 939 field in the BIB record. Include "The" in the bookplate text in the HOL record. See last example below.

Holding record

Add an 856 field (1st indicator = 4, 2nd indicator = 2) with the following subfields:

  • |y [gift note with name] 
  • |u[gift note: name]
  • |x gift

The URL links to a bookplate image.  The specific name added at the end of the URL automatically appears as part of the bookplate image.  Remember to add a colon and space after the gift note in the URL to generate a line break in the image.  It is possible to generate up to two additional line breaks using a colon and space (e.g., Gift of: Susan Spenser: Class of 2008: Master's in Business Administration).  The colon does not display in the image.  Using |x gift will assure the bookplate is associated with the correct holding in the display.


When there is a letter with a diacritic in the URL, replace the letter/diacritic combination with its corresponding Unicode value (unicode table).  Example: in honor of: Luis Fernández-Cifuentes given by Efraín Barradas.  The browser may automatically enter additional characters into the link (e.g., %20), but in Alma it's not necessary for the link to contain those extra characters.


Virtual Bookplate Examples:

Bibliographic record:
937 13  |a Bryan, Charles W., |c Jr., |e donor.
Holding record:
856 42  |y Gift of Charles W. Bryan, Jr. |u of: Charles W. Bryan, Jr. |x gift

Bibliographic record:
937 13 |a Jones, Chris, |e honoree.
937 13 |a Smith, Angela, |e donor.
Holding record:
856 42  |y Gift in honor of Chris Jones |u in honor of: Chris Jones: given by Angela Smith |x gift

Bibliographic record:
937 13  |a Cohen, Sadie M., |e honoree.
Holding record:
856 42  |y Gift in memory of Sadie M. Cohen |u in memory of: Sadie M. Cohen |x gift

Bibliographic record:
937 13  |a Jamison, Elizabeth, |e honoree.
Holding record:
856 42  |y Gift in celebration of Elizabeth Jamison, Class of 2008 |u in celebration of: Elizabeth Jamison: Class of 2008 |x gift

Bibliographic record:
939 23  |a Whitney R. Harris Collection.
Holding record:
856 42  |y Whitney R. Harris Collection |u R. Harris Collection |x gift

Bibliographic record:
939 23  |a United States Holocaust Museum, |e donor.
Holding record:
856 42  |y Gift of The United States Holocaust Museum |u of: The United States Holocaust Museum |x gift


Activating a Bookplate Link in Primo VE (*IMPORTANT*)

NOTE: In Alma, an additional and final step must be taken for an electronic bookplate to display and be clickable in Primo. This step involves applying a Normalization Rule to the 856 field in the Holdings record in the Alma IZ. For step-by-step instructions on this procedure (with screenshots) please see the LibGuide page for Activating a Bookplate Link in the 856 of the HOL Record So that it Appears in Primo.


Differentiating Gifts from Purchased Copies / Copy Numbers in Alma Records

When faced with a situation where you are cataloging a new copy of a title that is a gift, but an already owned copy of that same exact title was previously purchased, you will need two distinct Holding records (this is the case even when both copies are cataloged for the same collection, and/or when the owned copy was the gift and the added copy is the purchased one). Typically, Alma only wants one Holding per owning location on each Bib. To get around this, use a ‡t in the 852:

Example of gifted second copy for the same collection as owned copy:

New Holding record:

852 0 _ ‡a FU ‡b UFSWE ‡c GEN ‡h A12 ‡i .B34 2023 ‡t 2 ‡x gift

In many cases, gifted copies will need donor information added to their records (e.g. the 93X donor note in the Bib and 856 virtual bookplate in the Holding). If the gifted item is an additional copy of a title, and donor information is needed in the record, be sure to further identify which of the UF copies was that particular donated one with a 590 note in the Bib record:

Examples of gifted copy adds needing donor info in their record(s):

Bib record:

  • 590 _ _ Marston Science Library copy is a gift of Gregory R. Allen.


  • 590 _ _ Library West copy 2 is a gift of Gregory R. Allen.*

*In scenarios like the second example, where you are distinguishing one copy gifted by a named donor out of multiple copies in the same collection, you will need to identify the specific Item from your List of Items as the “copy 2” mentioned in the 590 note field. To do this, edit two of the fields in that copy’s Item record:

Item record:

Copy ID: 2

Description: c.2

NOTE: Using 590 local extension fields can also be important when needing to note other item-specific features such as author signatures, missing supplemental material, or the like.



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