Interlibrary Loan

Uptown Campus

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The Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service allows uptown Tulane students, faculty, and staff whose departments are supported by the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library and Turchin Library to obtain book loans or article scans for items not owned by the library. Law school affiliates should access Law ILL.

"City skyline of New Orleans with the Superdome"

For questions regarding the availability of an item, contact the Interlibrary Loan Office at or (504) 865-5610 for assistance.

Health Sciences - Downtown Campus

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The Rudolph Matas Library of the Health Sciences provides Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services to clinicians, faculty, staff, students, and researchers of all Tulane Health Sciences programs on the downtown campus and Tulane National Primate Research Center. 

Street car on Canal Street in front of Tulane Medical School

For clinical emergencies, submit requests or contact the Matas Library ILL Office at (504) 988-5156.

About Interlibrary Loan

Using ILL

  • Login to the ILL service.
  • Users log on with their Tulane username and password.
  • Users from law school need to request interlibrary loan service from Law ILL.
  • The library provides interlibrary loan services only to individuals affiliated with Tulane University. Those not affiliated with the University should seek assistance from their local public library.
  • Materials obtained through Interlibrary Loan are for the library user's exclusive use. The user of the service is responsible for any late fees, replacement costs for lost materials, and costs for damages.

Items available through interlibrary loan typically includes:

  • Books
  • Journal articles (photocopies)
  • Microfilm
  • Dissertations and theses
  • Government documents

If an item is missing from the library and Circulation Department staff cannot locate it, the Interlibrary Loan staff will try to obtain it from another library.

Items usually not available through Interlibrary Loan:

  • Whole issues of journals and periodicals (except for items held by the Medical School)
  • Rare materials including manuscripts
  • Reference materials
  • Genealogical and heraldic materials
  • Many dissertations, especially those printed prior to 1970
  • Books published within the last year, including current fiction
  • Current textbooks

Delivery Time

During most of the year, it takes several business days to obtain an article and 1-2 weeks to obtain a book through interlibrary loan. Many libraries do not lend at all during the winter holidays extending from mid-December through early January.

Time in transit depends on the method chosen for shipping by the lending library. Louisiana and the KUDZU consortium libraries ship loans using an express courier service such as FedEx or UPS, which supplies faster service. Many other libraries ship books by U. S. Postal Service library book rate, a slow alternative.

The library cannot predict delivery time for any particular request.

When there is an emergency need for a document or book, contact the Interlibrary Loan Office at (504) 865-5610 for assistance.

Electronic Delivery

Most libraries now send articles via electronic formats, which can be delivered to the library user the same way. Files may be viewed on ILLiad using the "View | Electronically Delivered Articles" link. Files are in PDF format and may be saved, printed or read on the monitor. Articles are posted electronically only when the library receives them in that format.

  • Howard-Tilton Memorial Library’s Interlibrary Loan department offers Scan and Deliver service for Tulane Uptown campus faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students (not including the Law school). The service includes scanning journal articles or a book chapter or less from the library’s circulating print collections and delivering electronically to the faculty’s or student's interlibrary loan account within two business days. Special Collections materials are not included in the service. Submit a request using the Article or Book Chapter form on the Interlibrary Loan web page. To comply with U.S. copyright law, only one book chapter or less or one article from a periodical issue is allowed per request. 

Loan Durations and Restrictions

The duration of the loan and any restrictions on using the item are determined by the lending library. The Howard-Tilton Memorial Library Interlibrary Loan Department honors all rules established by lenders. Lending libraries sometimes place special restrictions on the use of loaned items, such as:

  • Library Use Only - The lending library will NOT allow the item to be taken from the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library. This means the library user may still check the item out from interlibrary loan, but you may NOT remove the item from the Library. We will hold your picture ID while you use the material within the library building.
  • No Renewals - The lending library will NOT allow renewals. Such items MUST be returned by the original due date.
  • No Photocopying - The lending library will NOT allow the item to be photocopied. There may be copyright restrictions on the item, or the item may be subject to damage during photocopying. Please honor this restriction so we may retain our borrowing privileges.

Renewal of interlibrary loan materials

Interlibrary Loan users may request one renewal for each item they borrow, unless the lending library stipulates that no renewals will be accepted. Please use ILLiad to request a loan renewal by viewing active requests and clicking the Renew Item button. Request should be made at least two days before the item is due so Interlibrary Loan staff can contact the lending library for permission to renew.

Loan request cancellations

The most common reason for canceling a request is that the item requested is already available in the University Libraries. If a request is cancelled, ILLiad will send the Inlibrary Loan user an e-mail message explaining the reason for cancellation.

Some kinds of materials may be difficult to find in the library catalog. it is often helpful to consult a research librarian about an item before requesting it through interlibrary loan.

Loss of or damage to interlibrary loan items

Abuse of the interlibrary loan service may result in the loss of your interlibrary loan borrowing privileges, and may result in a suspension of a user's general circulation privileges. Failure to return materials on time will jeopardize the relationship of the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library with the libraries from which we acquire materials and may prevent the library from borrowing items from those libraries for our other patrons.

In the event that an interlibrary loan item is lost or damaged, please contact the Interlibrary Loan Department immediately at or (504) 865-5610. As with regular library books, the Interlibrary Loan user is financially responsible for any damage to or loss of interlibrary loan materials, from the time they are picked them up until they are returned. The Interlibrary Loan user is also responsible for any damage caused by photocopying, even if no specific photocopy restrictions are noted on the material. Should damage occur, please report it to the Interlibrary Loan Office and do not attempt to repair it.

Copyright Policies

Tulane University Libraries complies with US Federal Copyright Law. US Federal Copyright Guidelines allow academic libraries to borrow five (5) articles published in the last five (5) years per journal title in a calendar year. In addition, only two (2) articles per journal issue published in the last five (5) years can be borrowed per calendar year. Articles requested in excess of these Guidelines will result in copyright and/or royalty fees. 

Center for Research Libraries (CRL)

The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) is an international consortium of university, college, and independent research libraries.  Howard-Tilton Memorial Library is a member of this consortium and as a result Tulane students and faculty can utilize interlibrary loan to borrow from the CRL's approximately five million newspapers, journals, dissertations, archives, government publications, and other specialized resources for research and teaching.

To find materials held by the Center for Research Libraries search the CRL catalog. To borrow CRL materials, Tulane students and faculty may request CRL materials through Howard-Tilton Memorial Library's interlibrary loan service.

Reciprocal Borrowing

Through reciprocal borrowing programs, the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library offers borrowing privileges for students and faculty. For specific library policy information, please refer to these pages:

  • LALINC (Louisiana Academic Library Information Network Consortium) enables regional libraries to share resources and services such as interlibrary loan. To participate, graduate students and faculty from LALINC universities need to obtain a LALINC card from their home library. Tulane faculty and graduate students can obtain a LALINC card from the Check-Out Desk on the first floor of Howard-Tilton.
  • OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program - A program offered to faculty at participating institutions which provides borrowing privileges and on-site access to the collections of other participating academic research libraries. It is not a part of the OCLC Interlibrary Loan service. Faculty must first acquire an OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program card from their home library to make use of the privileges at another participating institution. For a list of participating institutions see:
  • TU/LU - The TU/LU Undergraduate Cooperative Borrowing Project provides undergraduate students at Tulane University and Loyola University of New Orleans with expanded access to a wide array of library materials at Tulane's Howard-Tilton Memorial Library and at Loyola's J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library.
    • To participate, undergraduate students at the two universities need to obtain a TU/LU card from their home library. Tulane undergraduate students can obtain a TU/LU card from the Check-Out Desk on the first floor of Howard-Tilton. The business, medical, and law libraries at Tulane and the law library at Loyola are not participating in this project; therefore your TU/LU card will not be honored at these libraries.
    • TU/LU participants are responsible for the loan periods from the home library and will be responsible for any fees and fines associated with overdue or lost books.