Interlibrary Loan

Can't find the materials you need at Harvard or via BorrowDirect? Submit an Interlibrary Loan request and we'll search libraries around the world.

What is Interlibrary Loan?

If you can't find what you're looking for at Harvard or via BorrowDirect, we can help you.

Submit an Interlibrary Loan request and library staff will search libraries around the world to find a copy for you.

Articles requested via Interlibrary Loan can often be delivered within hours. Other materials usually arrive within two weeks. You will receive an email when your materials are ready.

Submit an Interlibrary Loan request

Things To Know

  • 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 Libraries

Other institutions looking to make Interlibrary Loan requests should first determine which Harvard library the materials are held by. 

ILL requests for materials held by the following libraries can be submitted to Harvard Library Resource Sharing.

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.

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


    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 
    • NELLCO
    • ATLA, Boston Theological Institute
    • Biodiversity Heritage Libraries


    • $25 domestic
    • $45 international
    • $25 rush requests for law firms in addition to request fee ($50/request total)


    • $25 Domestic
    • $25 International
    • $12 Docline
    • $25 rush requests for law firms in addition to request fee ($50/request total)