Interlibrary Loan

How it works

For books and periodical articles not available in the library, feel free to request them through the ILL service. Email ILLIntern@bostonathenaeum.org. To request an interlibrary loan, provide the author and title. A date is only necessary if a specific edition is needed.

  • Limited to 3 or 4 books at a time.
  • Requests are normally filled within two weeks.
  • If there is a fee from the lending institution, the member will be notified and have the chance to cancel the order.
  • Interlibrary loan books cannot be mailed to members.
  • Some requested items may not be available, such as rare books or books in high demand.
  • Occasionally, there are restrictions such as “in library use only” or “no photocopying allowed.”

Article Requests

To request, a complete citation is necessary: author, title, journal name, volume, date, and the inclusive page numbers of the article. The reference staff can help you find the complete citation.

  • Limited to 3 or 4 articles at a time.
  • Article requests are sent as photocopies or emailed. Photocopied materials can be forwarded to members unable to come to the Library.
  • Newspaper articles can also be requested.
  • Limit requests to 3 or 4 articles at a time.

Non-Print Materials

It can be a challenge to loan non-print material, such as microfilm, audio-visual tapes, DVDs, CDs, and records. Reference can assess the likelihood of filling such a request and provide viable alternatives.

Warning concerning copyright restrictions

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproduction of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use”, that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.