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FAQ about Interlibrary Loan

Who may use the inter-library loan service?
What kinds of materials may be borrowed via inter-library loan?
May I request items that are missing from the Library's collection?
Do I have to pay for inter-library loans?
How will I know when the item I requested has arrived?
How long does it take to receive items through inter-library loan?
What is the length of the loan period?
Where do I return my loan?

Who may use the interlibrary loan service?
If you are on Museum staff and have Full Library Privileges you may submit requests for inter-library loans to obtain materials that are unavailable in the Museum Library.

What kinds of materials may be borrowed via interlibrary loan?
Books, journal articles, and microforms, are the most commonly borrowed items. (Libraries generally fill requests for journal articles with photocopies of the article rather than sending the original journal issue.) Other types of media and materials from non-circulating collections cannot usually be borrowed. Most libraries will not loan old, rare, or fragile materials.

May I request items that are missing from the Library's collection?
If an item owned by the Library cannot be found in the collection, you may request that it be obtained via inter-library loan.

Do I have to pay for interlibrary loans?
There is no charge for this service, as long as the number of requests submitted is not excessive. Please note that interlibrary loan services are for Museum related research and business only, and not for personal use.

How will I know when the item I requested has arrived?
You will be notified by phone or email when the item arrives. Incoming items may be picked up at the Reference/Circulation Desk during regular Library hours. You will be asked to sign that you have received the item.

How long does it take to receive items through interlibrary loan?
Most items take two to four weeks to arrive. Some items are more difficult to obtain and may take longer.

What is the length of the loan period?
Loan periods are established by the lending library and can vary. A typical loan period is three weeks.

Where do I return my loan?
Loans must be returned at the Reference/Circulation Desk. 

For additional information, please call the Interlibrary Loan office at 769-5404 or send an email to loan@amnh.org.

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am - 5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
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