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Interlibrary Loan

Lending Policies (For Non-University of Chicago Libraries or Institutions)

University of Chicago students, faculty or staff, please see our Borrowing web page for information about interlibrary borrowing services.


Ariel is the primary delivery method for copies. For institutions without an Ariel IP address, we prefer to post the article as a PDF for web delivery if provided with a valid email address for delivery notification. Fax delivery is only available with Express or Rush Service. Orders without an Ariel or e-mail address will be sent via US Mail.

Specific Materials

The following types of material are available for interlibrary loan:

  • Books, except for items in non-circulating collections or in poor condition.
  • Periodicals, please explain your need. We will make decisions on a case-by-case basis for bound volumes older than 5 years in the social sciences and humanities.
  • Annuals, transactions and proceedings, generally lent from all collections except science, technology and medicine.
  • Government documents, except the serial set.
  • Maps, on a case-by-case basis.
  • Microforms, except master negatives, limit of 4 reels per loan.
  • Multi-volume sets, 4 volume limit. Once 4 volumes have been returned, another 4 volumes may be requested.
  • Newspapers, except Chicago newspapers, limit of 4 reels per loan.
  • Dissertations
  • Videocassettes and DVDs

The following types of material are NOT LENT:

  • Current issues of both periodicals and newspapers.
  • Bound periodicals in the sciences. These will be marked "shelved by journal title" in catalog.
  • Rare or archival material.
  • Chicago newspapers.
  • Audio materials including CD-ROMs, CDs, sound recordings, etc.
  • Reserve material.
  • "On Hold" material.
  • Reading Room material.
  • Three ring binder or other loose leaf material.
  • Items in poor condition.

Loan period

We loan to libraries in the United States and Canada for four weeks from the date of receipt by the borrowing library. Two weeks travel time each way is already included in our due date calculations.


One renewal of up to thirty days may be granted, unless material is marked as non-renewable or has been recalled.


Recalled items should be returned ASAP via Priority Mail, UPS, FedEx, Air Mail, etc., not by library/book rate or surface mail.


Any use restrictions will be clearly indicated on the book band which is placed around loaned material. Please return all materials with the book band in place. Please do not affix any type of adhesive labels to our material (including "removable" labels). Exceptional items may be restricted to use in the borrowing library only and may have further use restrictions, as appropriate to the item.


We ship via UPS 2 Day Ground to destinations in the US and Canada. FedEx shipping is available to institutions that supply us with their FedEx account number.

We do not send returnables outside of the United States and Canada, but we do supply articles worldwide.


Our material should be returned in a box. Please do not use shipping bags as material can be easily damaged. Exceptional items should be packaged with special care and returned via Priority or Air Mail, UPS, FedEx, or other expedited means. Recalled items also should be returned ASAP via Priority or Air Mail, UPS, FedEx, or other expedited means.

Please note: Invoices are mailed monthly. If you are paying via check, money order or IFLA vouchers, PLEASE do not send payment with returned material. Mail payment only once you have received an invoice.