Interlibrary Loan Policy

To request a Special Collections item via Interlibrary Loan, please contact Interlibrary Loan.


The Special Collections Department (as of July 1, 2004) will consider the possibility of loaning items from the Rare Book and University Archives Book collections to appropriate repositories. These requests will be handled by Becky Jordan, Reference Specialist, and all must be approved by Laura Sullivan, Collections Archivist.

These guidelines also rely on the recent ACRL Guidelines for the Interlibrary Loan of Rare and Unique Materials.

The committee's objectives in preparing these guidelines were:

  • to encourage and facilitate interinstitutional loan from special collections for research use;

  • to affirm curatorial responsibility in decisions regarding the loan of special collections;

  • to specify the responsibilities of lending and borrowing institutions; and

  • to ensure the safety and security of items loaned.

All requests will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

The following guidelines will be followed in each case

To Consider, on a Limited Basis:

  • Recently published soft-bound items
  • Rebound materials in a library binding

In General, Not to be Loaned

  • Fragile and/or brittle materials
  • Housed in preservation boxes
  • Housed in three-ring binders
  • Oversized items
  • Rare works in original bindings (usually prior to 1875)
  • Also including Henty publications, miniatures and blue books
  • Theses or dissertations
  • Titles available in the general collection
  • University textbooks

Use Policies:


  • In Special Collections/Monitored Area use only (to be monitored by the borrowing library).
  • After the loan is confirmed, ILL will confirm the conditions with the borrowing institution.
  • ISU ILL: Please note physical condition prior to shipping.
  • 2 week loan period, no renewal.
  • Special Collections staff will take any items for loan directly to the ILL staff. When materials are returned, they should be brought by the ILL staff directly to the Department (and should not be sent through the hand mail).
  • Neither ISU or the borrowing repository will ever attach sticky notes or Post-It notes to Special Collections volumes.


  • If a volume is not to be photocopied, Special Collections staff will mark the loan slip.

Packing and Shipment, Terms and Conditions:

  • Additional insurance needed.
  • Send and return by commercial shipper with tracking system.
  • Special packing (bubble wrap or extra support) needed.

For additional information, please contact:

Special Collections Department at or 515-294-6672 or

visit the Interibrary Loan Department's website at


Policy Revised: August 2005.