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About Interlibrary Loan


Interlibrary Loan (ILL) enables Harvard University students, faculty, and staff with library borrowing privileges to request materials not owned by Harvard libraries. Each faculty library has its own ILL service. 


How To Place Requests


Login to your Interlibrary Loan account to place your request. First-time users will be required to fill out a registration form before proceeding.


Response Time


Available materials usually arrive within two (2) weeks. For faster response times, try Borrow Direct.




A notice is sent to your e-mail account when requested material arrives.


Pick-Up And Return Locations


ILL items can be picked up and returned to any Harvard Library*. Please ensure the bookband remains intact so staff are able to remove the item from your account.

*Materials borrowed from Harvard Law affiliates should return material directly to the Harvard Law library.


Loan Period


  • Circulating loans are 16 weeks, with no renewals
    • Harvard Law affiliate ILL loans are subject to the loan periods designated by the owning library and are not generally available for the semester
  • Material designated by the owning institution are subject to shorter loan periods, as designated by the owning library
  • All material is subject to recall at any time





  • Circulating loans are not subject to renewals
  • Non-circulating item renewal policies vary according to the lending institution.