Borrowing from other area libraries

Access to other area libraries may be limited at this time. We recommend contacting them directly before visiting to find out their current access policies, or using our interlibrary loan service to access materials from other libraries.

Interlibrary loan

When what you need isn't available from our collection, Tufts borrows from other libraries on your behalf through interlibrary loan.

Go directly to ILLiad (requires your Tufts username and password) and enter the exact information (citation) for what you need.

How It Works

You'll be notified by email when your item(s) arrive.

You can keep the items as long as the other library allows—we'll tell you the due date when you pick up your item.

Renewals are sometimes possible, but some borrowing libraries may limit renewals for interlibrary loan. For best results, request a renewal several days before your item is due.

Visiting area libraries

Tufts belongs to the Boston Library Consortium (BLC), a regional network that shares access to all member libraries with individual library users from any of the participating libraries. The BLC includes academic libraries in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.

If you’re a student, faculty, or staff member at Tufts, you can borrow items directly from BLC libraries using a BLC card. If you’re a member of another BLC library, you can use your BLC card at Tisch, Lilly, and the SMFA libraries.

Getting a BLC card

Drop by the information desk at Tisch Library and fill out an application. We can issue your BLC card right away.

Visiting Harvard University libraries

As of October 2021, Harvard has changed its visitors policy.  Those seeking to access Harvard Library collections will need to be a Harvard alum or register for an independent researcher card, with the exception of AS&E tenure-stream/tenured faculty (see below). 

Tufts students conducting original research that requires access to Harvard’s collections should set up an appointment with their subject specialist to discuss their project.  Tisch Library may cover the cost of the independent researcher’s Library Access Card.  Students should start by contacting their subject specialist.

Many resources at Harvard are available at Tufts or through interlibrary loan, please contact your subject specialist for assistance.

Harvard borrowing cards for faculty

AS&E tenure-stream/tenured faculty who need to be able to check out materials from the Harvard Libraries may request that Tisch Library pay for a “borrowing card.” First-time requestors should contact Martha Kelehan for information on how to set up billing. Renewals are handled directly through the Harvard Privileges Office.

Existing, active card holders are required to fill out Harvard's visitor registration form in advance of each visit (select the Non-Harvard faculty form, or use the Alumni form if you are a Harvard alumnus).

Boston Public Library e-card 

Members of the Tufts community can apply for a Boston Public Library e-card, which allows you to borrow e-books and use databases from the library’s extensive collection. Apply for a Boston Public Library e-card to start borrowing e-books straight away.

Please note that Boston Public Library’s e-card is only available to those who currently live in the United States.