Donating Vintage Encyclopedias

Would a theatre company or home staging company be interested in my 1980 set of World Book Encyclopedias? They are dark blue, leather bound with gold leaf and in excellent condition. I am not trying to sell them, just get rid of them, but don't know who might want them. It seems a shame to rip the leather covers off, a requirement for my recycle center. They were very expensive and are nice looking books. I'd like to see someone display them. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thank you.


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July 7, 20180 found this helpful

Put an ad in Freecycle and Craigslist. I donated my 1979 wedding gown to a theatre company.

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July 7, 20180 found this helpful

Here in Pgh we have Center for Creative Reuse. They used to take old encylopedias with good covers for art projects...not sure if they still do as I haven't been able to get to that part of town in ages.

People make neat-o items from them like this (which I wish I had made, but I just admire)

If you have an art studio or creative reuse store or artist colony in your area check with them to see if they will take them as a donation.

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July 7, 20180 found this helpful

if you place an ad on Craigslist or Freecycle stating set is free you will receive many calls that may wish to sell them or rip them up for different projects.


  • Most any suggestions offered will be for ripping up the books.
  • I agree with you - I truly hate to see these nice books torn apart.
  • The only suggestion that I can think of would be to Google Interior Decorator with your zip and either make calls or send an email messages stating what you have and ask if they or someone they know would like to have them.
  • I wish I had other suggestions but sadly these will usually go to the dump (not always recycle bins).
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July 12, 20180 found this helpful

if it really comes to ripping them up you can begin a fun craft project of turning each volume into a keepsake box like this:

i would also contact a local charter school or other school or go on facebook and look up homeschooling folks, groups, or organizations, some of them might actually want them for the info inside, though it's outdated some things are still worthwhile


theatre is a good idea though doesn't hurt to try

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