Frequently Asked Questions


Material chosen for digitizing must meet certain guidelines.  Please contact Access Services to find out if the material you would like to have scanned is eligible.

Some online resources in the CRL Catalog are restricted to member access only via IP. To enable access to these materials from off-campus locations, we recommend that member institutions take the following steps:

  • Add CRL hosts, including and, to your institution’s Proxy server configuration
  • On your library Web site, add your proxy prefix to all CRL links, including and

CRL Systems staff receive a number of support calls about off-campus access. Since each CRL member institution controls their own proxy server, we often have to direct off-campus access questions from end-users to their home institution library.  However, we strongly encourage the technical staff in charge of your proxy server to contact us to ensure your proxy server configuration is set for CRL resources. Please refer questions related Proxy server configuration to CRL Systems staff.

Sample configuration for EZProxy Server

  • T Center for Research Libraries
  • U
  • DJ
  • HJ
  • HJ
  • HJ
  • HJ
  • HJ
  • DJ
  • HJ


You may contact Kevin Wilks, Head of Access Services, or the Center at (773)955-4545. You may find a detailed staff directory on our website.

Once a demand purchase has been received, it will be shipped to your institution after being properly processed. The original request will be used although it may no longer be active in the Resource Sharing system. Should there be any problems with acquiring a demand purchase, the institution will immediately be notified.

Please contact the Access Services Department should you have any questions concerning a demand purchase.

The author or institution requires the borrower to sign a TDF (Thesis Declaration Form), also known as a CD (Copyright Declaration). By signing the TDF or CD, the reader agrees to recognize that copyright of the dissertation resides with either the author or the university to which the dissertation was submitted and that the reader will not quote or derive information from the work without prior written consent of the author or university.

Turnaround time for demand purchases differs for material, origin, and format.

Requests to the Center for demand purchases are initiated by member ILL offices. To expedite the demand purchase, the ILL office may place a note on the ILL request stating “Please purchase if do not own”.

To meet scholars’ individual research needs the Center purchases materials in three categories on demand (Foreign Doctoral Dissertations, Newspapers, Archival material). As funds permit, requests for demand purchases are honored on a first-come, first-served basis with a maximum expenditure of $2,000 per patron per year. You may find more details on the Demand Purchase Program page.

Digitized material which is no longer under copyright may be accessed from our catalog. If the material is under copyright, it is accessible only to our members. Member institutions must register their IP addresses with CRL for access to copyrighted material. Patrons of member institutions may have off campus access of copyrighted material if they have proxy through their institution.
When patrons at CRL member libraries request loans of material, we scan the items and provide digital delivery if the extent and format will allow us to provide access within four working days. All digitized documents remain linked from the catalog for other patrons.
The Center requests that borrowed material be returned by UPS to enable tracking. Borrowed material may also be returned by U.S. Postal Service library rate. Much of the center’s material is in fragile condition. We ask that material be packed properly to avoid any possible damage.
If a member institution requests material already on loan to another user for at least fourteen days, the Center will recall the material. The member institution may submit a recall by contacting Access Services via OCLC (ILLiad), Fax (773-955-9732), phone (1-800-621-6044 ext.321), email, or U.S. mail service.

CRL member institutions may request an additional six months renewal via OCLC (ILLiad), Fax (773-955-9732), email, U.S. mail service or by calling (773) 955-4545 ext. 321.

The Center's turnaround time averages less than one business day for all routine requests.
CRL ships via United Parcel Service (UPS) 2-Day Delivery to requesters in the United States and Canada. Routine shipping costs to the borrower are paid for by CRL. In cases where the shipping cost is not routine, the borrowing library will be informed of any possible additional charges. Any additional charges must be prepaid.

The generous loan period for CRL member institutions is six months with unlimited renewals. However, all material may be recalled after two weeks use if requested by another member institution or project participant. The non-member loan period is four weeks, no renewals, with the material being subject to recall after two weeks use if requested by a member institution or project participant.

The Center will lend any quantity of material in any format to member institutions. For non-member institutions, CRL will lend a maximum of 12 microfilm reels or 24 fiches of one title per request; the amount of print material sent depends on shipping costs. Each non-member library is limited to 25 filled requests per year (loans and copies).

Uncataloged material can be verified on the Collections Search Link. If you do not find the desired material, please contact our Access Services Department for verification.

CRL will accept an ILL request via OCLC (ILLiad), Fax (773-955-9732), email, or U.S. mail service. The center also has special arrangements with Article Reach, Connect NY, OhioLINK, Prospector, Rapid, and SUMMIT.

Readers from institutions outside the membership can use the collection for a pre-paid fee and subject to certain restrictions. Requests should be sent to CRL by your interlibrary loan office. For more information on non-member borrowing, please see our nonmember lending page.

Scholars and researchers from CRL libraries have free and unlimited use of the CRL collections through interlibrary loan.