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Interlibrary Loan - Article Scan

What is it?

Interlibrary Loan - Article Scan is a free* service for obtaining scans of articles, book chapters, conference proceedings, and other scholarly material not owned by the UW Libraries.
*Services for Cascadia College patrons are fee-based

Who can use it?

Current UW* students, staff, faculty, and retirees.
*UW Law School users should place ILL requests through the Gallagher Law Library
**We also provide a fee-based service for people who are not currently affiliated with the University

When do I use it?

Use this service after trying UW Libraries collections in UW Libraries Search.

How long does it take?

Most scans are available within 24-48 business hours.

How do I submit a request?

UW Interlibrary Loan and Document Services requests must be submitted online through our website at https://www.lib.washington.edu/ill. We do not accept requests by email, phone, or fax. Users must fill out an individual request form for each requested article. If a user is requesting multiple articles from one volume, they must place individual requests for each article.

Get Started!

    Search and request for article content using:

    Use the Request a Scan form:

    Your ILL Account



    Where do I go to manage my Interlibrary Loan (ILL) scan requests?

    ILL Scan requests in your ILL Account may be in one of the below statuses:

      • Available for Download – your requested scan has arrived and can be downloaded from your ILL account.
      • Awaiting Patron Email Reply – ILL staff have sent you an email with a question about your request. Please check your email and respond.
      • Request Finished – this request is complete.

    What do the scans look like?

    ILL scans obtained from other libraries arrive in PDF format and are usually 200-300 dpi and black and white or grayscale. These PDFs may be downloads of “born digital” documents or scans from print volumes. Scans will be a good representation of what the page looks like, but the text may not always be searchable or have optical character recognition capabilities (OCR). Scans may also include some of the flaws that are present in the original volume including the curvature of the page as the volume is opened, gutter shadows, and hints of text that shows through from the back side of a page. You may even see an occasional scanned image of someone's hand holding the original as flat as possible to get a good scan. Lending libraries do their best to minimize flaws and give you the best scan possible, but scans will never looks as good as a “born digital” document.

    We do not currently provide paper copies of scans.

    How do I ensure that I receive an accessible document?

    To make material generally accessible, UW Interlibrary Loan and Document Services tries to perform Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on all of the items we scan. However, we don't have the resources to do extensive remediation on the PDF files we create. If you need assistance interpreting a PDF file we've provided, please contact the UW Disability Services Office (https://hr.uw.edu/dso/).

    May I share the scans I receive with colleagues?

        • It is sometimes OK to share your scanned item with UW colleagues for instructional or research needs.
        • It is often OK to make a small number of print copies to share with non-UW colleagues.
        • It is almost never OK to post your scanned item on a publicly accessible website or to sell or redistribute its content.
        • For more information, see the Step-by-Step Guide to Copyright Compliance.

        Can I borrow e-books?

        Usually not, unfortunately. Most libraries can't lend e-books through ILL because of electronic rights management (ERM) and licensing restrictions. If you place an ILL request for an e-book, be sure to say in the notes whether a print copy is also acceptable. If we are able to borrow the e-version, we will email you URL link and a password to the read-only e-book file.

        How many requests can I make at a time?

        You can have up to 100 active ILL requests at a given time. Scan requests are active from the time they are placed until 30 days after the scan is delivered, or until you delete the scan from your account, whichever is sooner.

        Why was my Interlibrary Loan scan request cancelled?

        ILL staff do their best to fill all Interlibrary Loan scan requests. Sometimes, unfortunately, we have to cancel a request. Visiting our Reasons for Cancellation page to view the most common reasons for cancellation and some possible next steps.

        What are the copyright restrictions for Interlibrary Borrowing scans?

        Interlibrary Borrowing items are covered by United States copyright law (Title 17. United States Code.), which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy/reproduction is not to be "USED FOR ANY PURPOSES OTHER THAN PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP, or RESEARCH." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes IN EXCESS of fair use, that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

        For more information, see the Step-by-Step Guide to Copyright Compliance.