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Interlibrary Loan Services: What Can I Request?

What Can I Request?

Please review the complete list of library materials that can (and cannot) be obtained through our Interlibrary Loan service

What Items Can Be Requested

  • Items not owned by MSHS Libraries.
  • Items within the collection that are needed in print.
  • Items that are checked out of MSHS libraries, excluding materials on reserve for a course.
  • Items missing from MSHS libraries. Before requesting an interlibrary loan for a missing item, request a formal search for the item through the library circulation desk or online. If there is no other library copy or if a search has already been conducted or the item has been declared missing, an interlibrary loan request can be submitted.
  • Items at MSHS Libraries that can no longer circulate because of their fragile condition.


Items That Cannot Be Requested

  • Electronic copies of books (e-books)
  • Loan requests for non-circulating items from other library collections (i.e. Special Collections)


Items That May Be Difficult to Obtain

  • Entire journal volumes or issues
  • Titles only owned by foreign institutions
  • E-Pub/Articles ahead of print
  • Audio Visual Materials
  • Popular textbooks commonly used in courses as they may not be available to loan from academic libraries

Material Types

Audio and Visual

Audio and visual material (DVD's, VHS, audio tapes, CD's, LP's, etc.) can be difficult to obtain via ILL. If lent, the loan periods are often very limited with renewals not allowed. ILL staff will not process any AV requests for items that are not for school research or study. Please only request materials that are needed for research, and refrain from requesting  movies or music that can be easily obtained from public libraries or other sources. Please note that we cannot guarantee the loan of audio / visual materials.

If you are an instructor and wish to obtain a video for a course, please do not submit an ILL request. Please contact the library directly at with your request.


Books and Articles

Most material needed for research can be requested via ILL. When a physical item is borrowed for your use, the lending library will determine the length of the loan period, indicate whether that period can be extended by a renewal, and/or stipulate any restrictions on the use of the material. Articles published ahead of print (E-Pub) or from current journal issues may not be available from lending libraries. Please note that  you will be directed to online resources for requested material, if available.


Theses and Dissertations

Theses and dissertations may be requested on the Book/Media form, available through your ILLiad account.

Before requesting a dissertation through ILL/DDS, you should first check the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global database, which contains the full-text, downloadable PDF for most Mount Sinai theses dissertations  as well as many others published in the United States.  This database can be found within the Databases page of the Levy Library website. 



Libraries rarely lend the physical copy of a journal, especially those published within the last five to ten years. Most lending libraries will instead provide photocopies or electronic copies of journal articles. You may request a photocopy of the table of contents from a single issue of a journal, to help determine which pages to request.



Libraries may lend newspapers if they are part of a microform collection. Restrictions on the number of microfilm or other media lent may be imposed by the lender. Libraries rarely lend physical / archival copies of newspapers.



Textbooks generally cannot be obtained via interlibrary loan, as it is not standard practice for libraries to add these materials to their lending collections. The majority of requests for textbooks cannot be fulfilled.


Old and Rare Materials

Most original / physical copies of materials published before the 20th century cannot be obtained via ILL. If lent, a “library use only” or “no photocopying” restriction may be imposed. Please note that microform versions of old and rare material may be obtained in lieu of a physical copy. Please also note that if an item is available online, ILL staff may direct the end user to these resources and will cancel the ILL request.