Genealogy: Consider interlibrary loan

Genealogy: Consider interlibrary loanBy Barry J. Ewell

Usually a portion of the library’s or society’s collection is available through interlibrary loan. Interlibrary loan allows you to borrow items for specific research and is transferred from library to library. Note: Libraries will usually not exchange information through the LDS family history centers. When you start speaking with the library or society, ask the following questions:

  1. What is the interlibrary loan policy andprocedureofthe organization from whichyouwillrequest information?
    1. Are there any costs associated with the loan?
    2. What is the length of time permitted for the loan?
    3. How long does it take to process the loan?
    4. Is it possible to purchase copies?
    5. Are any special forms required?
  2. What is the interlibrary loan policy and procedure for your local library?
    1. Does the library have the equipment you need to view the requested material, such as a microfilm reader, printer, or photocopier?
    2. The interlibrary loan comes with parameters, such as the following:
    3. Order 1-5 reels that can be loaned at one time.
    4. Orders must be received on interlibrary forms.
    5. Most orders will require a loan fee to be paid at the time of request. Fees range from $5 to $15 per reel.
    6. Cost may vary depending on if you are a state resident, nonresident, or member of the society.
    7. Length of time for loan is 1-4 weeks.

The types of resources that are usually exchanged through inter- library loan include the following:

  • Census (microfilm)
  • Papers (microfilm)
  • Original deeds, wills, tax records, vital statistics, and so forth (microfilm)
  • Maps
  • Books and research guides
  • Photographs (microfiche)
  • Military records (microfilm)

It is at the library’s discretion to designate materials as non- circulating due to policy, age, condition, or special circumstances. Items that are not usually available, but can be photocopied, include the following:

  • Periodicals
  • Materials in the main reading rooms
  • All books published before a given date (such as 1925)
  • Printed local history and genealogies and regimental histories (often do not circulate out-of-state)

If you have a particular microfilm you wish to own, ask if you can purchase copies. This would be advisable if, for example, there was a unique event covering a span of months and you wanted to have detailed coverage to review and study.