Interlibrary Loan

Can't find the materials you need at Harvard? Submit an Interlibrary Loan request and we'll search libraries around the world. We also lend via ILL to other institutions.

What is Interlibrary Loan?

If you can't find what you're looking for at Harvard, we can help you. Submit an Interlibrary Loan request and library staff will work with libraries around the world to obtain a print or electronic copy for you.

Articles requested via Interlibrary Loan are typically delivered within 1-4 business days. Physical items like books, audio/visual materials, or microforms typically arrive within two weeks. Fragile or rare materials may need to be consulted in-library if stipulated by the lender.

You will receive an email notification when your request is available. Digital materials will be sent as a link. For physical materials, you will receive an email notifying you that the item is now on hold for you at your designated pickup location.

Login to your Interlibrary Loan Account

Things To Know

  • You can view requests, renew items and download electronically-received items via your Interlibrary Loan account
  • Materials borrowed by Interlibrary Loan are loaned for 16 weeks and must be picked up in person
  • Materials can be recalled by their home institution at any time 
  • Interlibrary Loan items are not eligible for renewal
  • You can pick up and return your Interlibrary Loan items at any Harvard library 
  • Some items are designated for in-library use only by their home institutions. You must view those items in the pickup location's reading room. 
  • Interlibrary Loan items come wrapped in a band with information about where they came from and who borrowed them. Keeping that band in place ensures staff can remove the item from your account upon return.


Information for Other Institutions Using ILL

Other libraries looking to make Interlibrary Loan requests to us should first determine which repository at Harvard holds the materials. ILL requests for materials held by the following libraries can be submitted to Harvard Library Resource Sharing.


  • Baker Library 
  • Cabot Science Library 
  • Countway Library
  • Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology
  • Fine Arts Library
  • Gutman Library
  • Harvard Divinity School Library
  • Harvard Kennedy School Library
  • Harvard Law School Library
  • Harvard-Yenching Library
  • Lamont Library
  • Loeb Design Library
  • Loeb Music Library
  • Tozzer Library
  • Widener Library

Requests for materials from libraries not on this list, or non-circulating materials such as rare books and special collections, should be submitted to the holding library.

Submit a Request

Harvard Library Resource Sharing
1 Harvard Yard
Widener Library, Room G-30
Cambridge, MA 02138

Phone: 617-495-2972
Request form

Request Processing 

We make every effort to process requests within two business days. Many of our materials are held offsite and require longer processing time and expected turnaround is 8 business days.

We do not provide rush requests but do ship all items via FedEx 2-day delivery.

Loan Periods 

All materials are loaned for 16 weeks, with no renewals possible.

Some material may be designated for use in the library only—you will be notified before that material is sent.


Free Reciprocal Lending

  • Borrow Direct 
  • Boston Theological Institute
  • Biodiversity Heritage Libraries


  • $25 domestic (3 IFLA vouchers*)
  • $45 international (5 IFLA vouchers*)
  • $25 rush requests for law firms in addition to request fee ($50/request total) (6 IFLA vouchers*)


  • $25 Domestic (3 IFLA vouchers*)
  • $25 International (3 IFLA vouchers*)
  • $12 Docline (1.5 IFLA vouchers*)
  • $25 rush requests for law firms in addition to request fee ($50/request total) (6 IFLA vouchers*)

*IFLA fees based on current EUR/USD conversation rates—see this site for more information.