Resource Sharing and Access

Interlibrary Loan Department Logo ImageInterlibrary Loan Services (ILL) allows Smithsonian patrons to request library materials from institutions all over the world. If a book, journal, dissertation or other material is not available in the Smithsonian Libraries collections, the ILL office will attempt to obtain it from a global network of partner libraries.

Individuals wanting to place an interlibrary loan request please use the following links:

Information for libraries seeking to borrow from the Smithsonian Libraries:
  • Smithsonian Libraries lends material to all OCLC member libraries, the Library of Congress and all Federal Libraries. Smithsonian Libraries will lend to non-OCLC libraries if an appropriate American Library Association (ALA) interlibrary loan form or International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) form is submitted.
  • Federal libraries, members of the Chesapeake Information and Research Library Alliance (CIRLA) members and free lenders will not be charged an IFM fee. This fee will be charged to all libraries who reciprocally charge the Smithsonian Libraries.
  • Materials are loaned for thirty days. One renewal of the loan period may be permitted if the request is made in advance of the due date.
  • Limited photocopying may be possible from these materials, subject to U.S. Copyright Law.

Requests are accepted via:
  • OCLC requests through the WorldShare ILL system and the ILLiad system. Our OCLC symbol is SMI. 
  • Completed forms for electronic ALA/IFLA requests are accepted via email at

Conditions for lending:
  • Conditions of these services are determined by the Interlibrary Loan Code of the American Library Association and by the policies of the individual location within the Smithsonian Libraries.
  • Smithsonian Libraries is unable to lend reference books, rare books, non-paper items, periodicals, bulky or oversized materials or other non-circulating materials.

Returning items to the Smithsonian:
  • Items must be packed in a box and returned to the lending location of the Smithsonian Libraries system. Please use caution in addressing the return boxes to ensure that the item is returned to the appropriate branch location as there are twenty library locations around the world. If there is any doubt, please return to the main Interlibrary Loan office.
  • Special care is recommended in returning items to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Please do not send anything to this address except items specifically borrowed from the library in Panama.

OCLC Symbol: SMI

Mailing address:
Interlibrary Loan Services
Smithsonian Institution Libraries
P.O. Box 37012
NHB CEG-23, MRC 154
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012

Delivery (FedEx / UPS) address:
Interlibrary Loan Services
Smithsonian Institution Libraries
NHB CEG-23, MRC 154
10th & Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20004-0154