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UMW Libraries
Simpson Library | Special Collections

ARTH 303: Methods of Art History with Julia DeLancey: Interlibrary Loan & WorldCat

Interlibrary Loan

Picture of the Earth as seen from spaceInterlibrary loan (ILL) is a service that provides access to books, journal articles, and other materials that are not owned by the UMW Libraries.  If you need an item that the UMW Libraries don't have, you can request it via ILL. The ILL office will locate a lending library.

Most ILL items come from libraries in Virginia or nearby states, but the UMW Libraries can get an item from anywhere in the world, as long as there's a library that's willing to lend the item.

How do I request an ILL?

Requests are submitted electronically through our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) system. First-time users must create an Interlibrary Loan account before being able to submit requests.

What does an ILL cost?

Nothing. It's a free service for UMW students.

How long does it take?

Articles and book chapters are delivered electronically, in about 3 business days. If you request an entire book, it will be shipped through the mail to Simpson Library, which usually takes 1-2 weeks. Some requests may take longer, especially requests for rare items.

How will I know when my ILL arrives?

You will be notified via your UMW email account when your ILL materials have arrived.

Who do I talk to if I have questions about my ILL account?

If you have questions about your ILL account, email


The WorldCat logoWorldCat is a free website that lets you search the contents of libraries all over the world, all at the same time. It's maintained by a non-profit organization called OCLC.

If you know the exact item that you want -- perhaps a book or article that you saw in a list of citations -- then you don't need to use WorldCat. Instead, just submit an interlibrary loan (ILL) request, and the library staff will find a library that will send that item to UMW.

WorldCat is useful for when you don't know the exact item that you want. Use WorldCat to discover items that are relevant to your topic, even if they're not at UMW. Then, after you've discovered relevant items, you can use ILL to have them sent to UMW.