Lending Policies

University of Chicago students, faculty or staff, please see Requesting for information about interlibrary borrowing services.

Chapter and Article Scans (PDF format)

Odyssey is the primary delivery method for chapter/article scans in PDF format. For institutions which do not use Odyssey, we upload articles to OCLC Article Exchange and send an email with the download information. You must provide a valid email address for delivery notification.

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, are never loaned but we can often make a PDF scan of single maps.
  • 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
  • DVD-ROMs, CD-ROMs, floppy discs, etc.
  • Audio materials including CDs, cassettes, sound recordings, etc., except vinyl records.

The following types of material are NOT LOANED:

  • Current issues of both periodicals and newspapers.
  • Rare or archival material.
  • Chicago newspapers.
  • Reserve material.
  • "On Hold" material.
  • "Building Use Only" or short term loan (14 days or less) material. 
  • Three ring binder or other loose leaf material.
  • Items in poor condition.
  • Vinyl records.

Loan period

We loan material 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.


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 FedEx Ground to destinations within the United States. For material loaned outside the United States, we ship via US Mail. There is no expedited shipping option available.


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. If you are paying with a VISA or Mastercard, do not pay until you receive an invoice asking for your credit card information.