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Overview of Services at the Swain Library

Document Delivery | Request It Online | Alerting Services | Printing, Photocopying & Scanning | Reference & Instruction | Course Reserves | Course Pages

Document Delivery & Interlibrary Loan

What may be borrowed | How to obtain materials not in the Stanford Libraries | Document Delivery | Patents: Self-Service Document Delivery | Interlibrary Borrowing Requests | Research Library Cooperative Program (RLCP) | Stanford University Libraries Policies for Document Delivery and Interlibrary Services | Coordinate Library Patrons

What may be borrowed

Most published materials can be obtained. Materials which may not be borrowed include materials for group use; materials owned by Stanford; reference materials, rare books, and books published before 1800. In its effort to comply with current copyright law, Interlibrary Borrowing rarely requests entire issues of periodicals.

How to obtain materials not in the Stanford Libraries

Document delivery and interlibrary borrowing services are available without charge to Stanford graduate students, postdocs, faculty, visiting scholars, and academic staff. Undergraduate students should consult with Swain staff if they need materials that are not owned by the Stanford Libraries.

Document Delivery

The Stanford University Libraries acquires copies of journal articles, patents, and dissertations that are not available in the Stanford Libraries in compliance with the current copyright laws and guidelines. Please see Swain’s Copyright Page for more information.

Interlibrary Services: Document Delivery Request Forms

Patents: Self-Service Document Delivery

  • Patent Form: for self-service access to PDF versions of patents from MicroPatent’s Standard Patent collection. Place a request using a patent number. Most items are available in 1–2 minutes. (Instructions)

    FYI: the email delivery option sends all mail to the Swain Librarian. If you need a patent that is in MicroPatent’s Specialized collection, please submit a document delivery request using the Article Form. While the MicroPatent web site offers access to patent databases, Swain’s account is restricted to ordering and retrieving patent orders. If you need to locate a patent number or to search the patent literature, Stanford has access to an excellent patent database that is called Derwent Innovations Index. It is international in scope and covers 1963–present.

Interlibrary Borrowing Requests

Interlibrary Services has implemented a new system to manage your Interlibrary Borrowing requests. We are confident that you will find our new ILLIAD software easy to use for submitting and tracking your borrowing requests. From any web browser, you can use ILLIAD to:

  • Submit borrowing requests
  • Check the status of requests
  • Edit and/or cancel requests
  • Request renewals
  • Review your borrowing request history (all completed and cancelled requests)
  • Update your patron information

Interlibrary Services will continue to notify patrons via e-mail when their loaned material is received. Articles will be delivered electronically.

Interlibrary Borrowing Request Forms (One-Time Registration Required)

Research Library Cooperative Program (RLCP)

If the Stanford Library system does not own items that are needed, graduate students, postdocs and faculty can order materials directly from UC-Berkeley or the University of Texas-Austin. UCB and Stanford have shared patron databases so there is no need for any pre-registration; simply order what you need. UT-Austin requires an application which takes two working days to process and then your requests can be submitted. Photocopies will be sent to your department via id mail, books will be delivered to Green Library loan desk for pick up and you will be notified when books arrive.

Request books or copies of articles using the RLCP: Borrow from UC Berkeley web form. Because there is a daily courier service between Stanford and the University of California Libraries, if a requested item is on the shelf, it will arrive within a couple of days.

Before placing a RLCP request, you should search SearchWorks, Stanford’s Online Catalog, to make sure that the Stanford Library system does not own the item. The library catalogs for UC-Berkeley and the University of Texas at Austin are also available via the web so that you can make sure that they have what you need.

If you are unsure whether the Stanford Library system owns an item, request help from the Swain reference staff or email

NOTE: You also can visit either of these libraries and borrow materials directly. Your Stanford ID card is sufficient for UC-Berkeley, and UT-Austin will issue you a card for borrowing on-site.

Stanford University Libraries Policies for Document Delivery and Interlibrary Services

Coordinate Library Patrons

The Libraries of the Hoover Institution, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, and schools of Business, Law, and Medicine maintain their own interlibrary borrowing services. If you are affiliated with one of these libraries, please submit your requests directly to them.

Last modified: September 7, 2010

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