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Interlibrary Loan (Collections Access, Loan and Management Division)
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Requesting Books, Periodicals, and Newspapers

The Library of Congress provides book loans, periodical article photocopies, and newspaper microfilm loans when this material is not readily available from other sources. Not every item in the LC catalog is actually held in the collection, however, and not everything in the collection can be lent or copied.

Verifying a Citation

Before making a request, verify that the item exists and is held by LC. Requests should be verified through an electronic database or other standard bibliographic tool, preferably also in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. The most useful identifiers are online record numbers such as the Library of Congress control number (e.g., 9712456), the International Standard Book Number (ISBN), or the OCLC record number. Include these, or a citation to a published tool such as the National Union Catalog, whenever possible.

Many recent monographs are represented in the catalog by Cataloging in Publication (CIP) records but have not yet received full cataloging and are not available in the Library's collections. If the Online Catalog record does not indicate pagination or size, the item has not been received and processed by LC.

When requesting an article from a serial publication, please match the serial title with the volume number, date of issue, and place of publication. Be sure to include pagination, title, and author of the article.

To request a newspaper, be sure to include the dates and place of publication.

Material in Micro Formats

Many items in microfilm and microfiche formats are available for loan. Although LC does not circulate original copies of items published before 1801, genealogies, or bound periodicals, this material will circulate as microfilm.


LC does not circulate dissertations on microfilm that are readily available from a commercial source.

Requesting Books

Except as listed below, most books in the Library's general collection, the Law Library, and the Area Studies collections are available for loan. Material that does not circulate includes the following:
  • Items that are in print and can be purchased from the publisher.
  • Items classified as Genealogy (CS), Heraldry (CR), and Local History (F below 1000)
  • Rare materials and items published before 1801.

Requesting Periodical Articles

The Library of Congress maintains a collection of over 900,000 serial titles, including bound volumes, loose issues, and microfilm. Periodicals, whether bound or unbound, are non-circulating, but the CALM Division makes every effort to send gratis photocopies of individual articles when requested on interlibrary loan. Photocopied material is mailed first class or sent by Ariel when the IP address is provided.

When requesting an article from a serial publication, be sure to observe the following guidelines:

  • Match the serial title with the volume number, date of issue, and place of publication. Be sure to include pagination, title, and author of the article. ISSN or LC card number should be included whenever possible.
  • Only serials on microfilm are available for loan. Please note that only 5 reels may be borrowed per patron at one time.
  • CALM Division will provide photocopies of articles up to 25 exposures.
  • Journal holdings are often incomplete. In addition, CONSER records showing LC control numbers with prefixes "sn" or "sc" and showing no 050 field (LC call no.) are almost certainly not held by LC.
  • Generally, the Library of Congress does not collect journals in the fields of clinical medicine, nursing, clinical psychology, or technical agriculture, which are the subject specialties of The National Library of Medicine and The National Agricultural Library respectively.

For further information on periodicals at the Library of Congress, see the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room.

Requesting Newspapers on Microfilm

The Library of Congress maintains one of the largest and most comprehensive newspaper collections in the world, comprised not only of the major papers published in all 50 states and territories of the United States, but also those published in most other countries of the world that have existed over the past three centuries. Almost all of the more than 500,000 reels of newspaper microfilm held by the Newspaper & Current Periodical, European, Asian, and African & Middle Eastern Divisions are available for interlibrary loan. Only newspapers that have been microfilmed are available for loan.

How to Tell if LC Holds a Circulating Newspaper on Microfilm

In the LC cataloging record, check the call number (050) field in the bibliographic record. If the word "newspaper" appears here, or "newspaper" plus a number smaller than 5000 (e.g., Newspaper 3450), the film should be available for loan. If the call number field includes an X (Newspaper 8066-X), or a number larger than 5000 (Newspaper 7686), then the newspaper is not on microfilm and is non-circulating. Up to 6 reels may be borrowed per patron at one time. Please be sure to include a place of publication and the exact dates that you are requesting.

The following newspapers on microfilm are non-circulating due to reading room demand:

  • Atlanta Journal
  • Baltimore Sun
  • Boston Globe
  • Chicago Tribune
  • Christian Science Monitor
  • Financial Times of London
  • London Times and London Sunday Times
  • Los Angeles Times
  • New York Times
  • Philadelphia Inquirer
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • USA Today
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Washington Post
  • Washington Evening Star
  • Washington Times

CALM Division is unable to provide copies of specific articles from non-circulating microfilmed or bound newspapers. Requests for photocopies from non-circulating newspapers should be sent directly to:

Library of Congress
Photoduplication Service
101 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, DC 20540-4570
Telephone: (202) 707-5640
Fax: (202) 707-1771

For further information on newspapers at the Library of Congress, see the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room.

Requesting Material from Specialized Collections

In addition to its general book and periodical collection, the Library of Congress maintains a number of specialized collections, some large enough to be custodial units in their own right, some small enough to be subsets of other collections. The links included here are designed to guide the potential borrower to information about these materials and the procedures for identifying and borrowing or requesting copies of specific items. Specialized collections listed in this section include:

Law Library

Most monographs in the Law Library are available for loan. Loose-leaf materials, serials, serial sets, and material in micro format and microprint form are all non-circulating. CALM Division will provide complimentary copies of articles and other material whenever possible. For more information about legal materials at the Library of Congress, see the Law Library.

Rare Books

All items in these collections are non-circulating. CALM Division will provide, whenever possible, a complimentary photocopy of a few pages. For further information on these collections, see the Rare Books and Special Collections Reading Room .


Many collections have been microfilmed as part of the Library's Preservation Microfilming Program and are available for interlibrary loan both from LC and from other research libraries. Manuscripts on microfilm may be requested through the CALM Division as regular interlibrary loans.

In some cases the Manuscript Division does not lend microfilm of collections which are stored offsite or for which there are no master negatives.

Please note that the Division allows only 10 reels per patron at one time to be sent out on interlibrary loan. For further information about these collections, see the Manuscript Division Reading Room.

Technical Reports and Standards

Please note that this material is non-circulating. CALM Division is only able to provide photocopies of U.S. technical reports. Because of copyright restrictions, standards cannot be copied.

For further details, write/call:

Library of Congress
Technical Reports & Standards Section
Science, Technology and Business Division
101 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, DC 20540-4750
(202) 707-5655 - phone
(202) 707-0253 - fax

National Translation Center

All Library of Congress holdings for the National Translation Center have been transferred to the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information in Ottawa, Canada. This material can be obtained from CISTI by using the OCLC ILL subsystem. Their OCLC symbol is (CAI). For further information, see CISTI

Depository Set of U.S. Government Publications

Since 1979, the Library of Congress has received a full depository set of U.S. government publications in multiple formats. Many, but not all, government publications issued before 1979 are also available from the Library since they are part of the general collection. For basic information about U.S. government publications, please click here to view the home page for the U.S. National Archives or contact them at:

National Archives Library
Room 2380
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001
Library Offices (301) 713-6780
Reference (301) 713-6875
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  Home >> Books, Periodicals, and Newspapers
  The Library of Congress >> Librarians & Archivists >>I Interlibrary Loan
  March 3, 2006
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