Lending to CRL Members

Hard Copy and Microform Loans

The Center for Research Libraries provides extended loan periods to support the research of faculty and students at CRL libraries. We will lend any quantity of material in any format to members. CRL libraries may borrow any material for any patron at their institution that they elect to serve. Fragile items may be delivered digitally rather than in hard copy.

Document Delivery

We are able to deliver documents via Odyssey, Ariel, fax, or photocopy. Your interlibrary loan office can initiate this request on your behalf. CRL libraries receive document delivery from the Linda Hall Library collection through RapidILL.

Digital Delivery

When single volumes or reels of microfilm are able to be scanned within 5 business days, the material will be sent for digital processing. We will provide a URL for the completed PDF document with searchable text, which is linked from our catalog record and WorldCat. If there are any rights restrictions on the source items, limited access will be provided for personal educational and research use. See the digitization services page for more information. CRL libraries can also request electronic access to the Linda Hall Library pre-1950 monograph collection.

Processing Time

CRL’s turnaround time averages one business day for all routine requests. Recalls, searches, and demand purchases require more time.

Shipping Materials for Loan

We will pay for shipping to CRL libraries. We usually ship by United Parcel Service (UPS) 2-Day Delivery. We request that material be returned by UPS to enable tracking. Borrowed material may also be returned by U.S. Postal Service library rate. You may contact the Access Services Department for a supply of pre-addressed mailing labels for returning material.

For materials lost or damaged during the loan transaction, we follow the principles outlined in Section 4.9 of the Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States.

Loan Period

The generous loan period for CRL libraries is six months with unlimited renewals. However, all material may be recalled after two weeks of use if requested by another member or project participant. The borrower is obligated to return material immediately upon recall.

Fragile or High Value Materials

CRL uses digitization to protect original materials from excessive handling. Materials in fragile condition or of high value are the highest priority for digitizing. If the material encompasses more than a few volumes, CRL will notify the requesting institution that digitization may take longer than the normal delivery time of five business days.

Using Materials at CRL

Students, faculty, and other researchers may use materials in the CRL Reading Room. Arrangements must be made with the Access Services Department at least three business days in advance of the patron’s visit to ensure that needed materials and space are available.

Have the Center Purchase Materials

CRL will purchase on demand in three collection areas. When we receive an interlibrary loan request for materials we do not hold, we will initiate an acquisitions order for the material if it fits the guidelines of the demand purchase program. The demand purchase policy for archival materials and newspapers allows a maximum of $2,000 per patron per research project. To expedite the demand purchase process, indicate on your ILL request: “please purchase if not owned.”


If a CRL library requests material already on loan to another user for at least fourteen days, that material will be eligible for recall. If there is an immediate need for the material, our Access Services staff will work with both the user and the requesting libraries to expedite the return of the material. If the recalled material is not returned within 14 days from receipt of the first recall notice, two additional notices will be sent, after which the institution holding the material will be billed for lost material. Additional processing fees will apply to nonmember institutions. If the material is not returned, we will contact the recalling institution to find out whether the material should be replaced in order to supply it to the requestor.