Sen. William L. Scott (R-Va.), who is retiring when his term expires in January, announced yesterday that he is donating papers collected during his 12-year congressional service to George Mason University.

"This is the first major donation of its kind to the university's growing Northern Virginia collection," Dr. John G. Veenestra, director of libraries, said of the Scott papers.

Scott said he selected the young and growing state university in Fairfax "because it's only one mile from the courthouse where I will practice law" upon leaving the Senate, and five miles from his house.

One stipulation of the igift, Scott said, is that "the papers will be available to me at any time."

Scott said he decided to give away the material "because I wouldn't have room for it around the house. They're kind of giving me storage space."

He added that the action would not qualify as a tax deduction for him, but "even if it would, I have no intention of asking for it."

Shirley Glazener, head of the library's government documents department, said her preliminary inspection of Scott's collection of documents indicated that "the Senate years alone will fill 45 four-drawer cabinets." Scott also served three terms in the House.

Among items in the collection, she said, are correspondence with constituents, background papers on legislation and results of voter surveys conducted by Scott.