Request an Interlibrary Loan

The Interlibrary Loan Department handles arrangements with other libraries for borrowing materials that are unavailable in the AMNH Library. This department also processes requests to lend materials from the AMNH Library collection.

Before submitting a loan request, please check the Library's Catalog to verify that the item you are requesting is not already available in the Library. To ensure you are eligible to request an interlibrary loan, please review our Interlibrary Loan Policies and Interlibrary Loan FAQ.

Interlibrary Loan Policies

This service is restricted to those with Full Library Privileges needing loans for work-related research.

Materials are loaned to the AMNH Library as a courtesy, and their conditions of use, including due dates, must be respected. Library users who need interlibrary loan materials for a longer period than the time allotted should discuss this matter with the interlibrary loan manager. The interlibrary loan manager may be able to renew the loan (in order to extend the due date) or borrow another copy of the item from a different library. Failure to return interlibrary loan materials on time jeopardizes the AMNH Library's liaisons with other libraries and could adversely affect other Museum staff needing interlibrary loan services. Users who return interlibrary loan materials late will be served with a formal warning. Users who subsequently return interlibrary loan materials late will lose interlibrary loan privileges.

Interlibrary Loan FAQ

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 (212) 769-5404 or email loan@amnh.org.