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Gone are the days when we sometimes had to pay for excess luggage because of the special dictionaries we needed to take along on our assignments. We now use the internet and electronic dictionaries which turns many of our former "travel companions" into "decorative wallpaper" - but what can or should we do with those treasures?

A colleague recently mentioned she does not dare to bid farewell to the paper dictionaries in case of power cuts or the internet coming under attack.

But in case we decide to clear the shelves of at least some of the dictionaries and/or textbooks - be it because we want to make room for other books or be it because we want to retire and will no longer need these publications - do you know of any place or foundation or organisation or research institute that would be interested in old and sometimes rare dictionaries? Or is there an internet portal where such dictionaries can be offered to translators and/or interpreters?

The university and college libraries seem to no longer seek or accept any such donations.

asked 05 Apr '13, 16:37

AlmuteL's gravatar image


edited 05 Apr '13, 16:41

...that strikes me as a very good idea for a thread or some such in the "river" to come, Almute :-), so that colleagues in less fortunate technological circumstances (and/or with a fondness for serendipity best fostered by browsing on paper) may be given a chance to ask for titles posted... and for unclaimed ones, I'm sure colleagues in those latitudes would be able to find local libraries/cultural centers etc - if not language or even interpreting schools - that would gladly accept them, what?

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answered 05 Apr '13, 22:42

msr's gravatar image


edited 05 Apr '13, 22:45

Are answers being removed now? What happened to my comment??

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answered 17 Apr '13, 05:27

Diana%20Coada's gravatar image

Diana Coada

Read 'What happened to the question, answer, comment or account that I created between April 7-16?' at

(17 Apr '13, 05:31) Vincent Buck

Liebe Almute,

I would suggest the following:

1) Check every single book. Are you sure you don't want it any more? If you think you may need it sometime, keep it. You may also want to digitalize your books to keep a private copy on your laptop or PC, which you can then consult more easily. Private copies are allowed in Germany under certain circumstances, but you would need to keep the original, so this wouldn't contribute to making more room.

2) A second alternative would be to sell them. I have used this website several times. You can also exchange your book for another one you need.

3) If you want to donate your books, there is a number or organizations in Germany. You may find the following interesting: Bürgerstiftung Köln, Buchspende or even Oxfam shops.

Finally, here is a website with many more suggestions in German.

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answered 27 Apr '13, 08:30

Delete's gravatar image

Delete ♦

Dear Almute,

My DPSI teacher sent us a few of her ginormous legal dictionaries and she only asked us to pay for the postage fee which was surprisingly small.

Your students/mentees will be eternally grateful to you if you offered them this possibility. Believe me! :)

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answered 27 Apr '13, 08:33

Diana%20Coada's gravatar image

Diana Coada

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question asked: 05 Apr '13, 16:37

question was seen: 4,006 times

last updated: 27 Apr '13, 08:33 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

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