Requesting Books, Periodicals, and Newspapers
The Library of Congress provides book loans, periodical article electronic copies,
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,
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.
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
- 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 electronic copies of individual articles when requested on interlibrary
loan. Fair use is assumed according to Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Code. Delivery method is via Odyssey, email attachment, or other means, upon negotiation with the borrowing library.
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 control 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 electronic copies 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
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
The following newspapers on microfilm are non-circulating due to reading room
- 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
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
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:
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
All items in these collections are non-circulating. CALM Division will provide,
whenever possible, a complimentary copy 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
Technical Reports and Standards
Please note that this material is non-circulating. CALM Division is only able
to provide copies 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
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
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001
Library Offices (301) 713-6780
Reference (301) 713-6875