Research at Other Libraries

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Whether you need to use materials not held at Northwestern, or are traveling, the Reference Department can help facilitate your visit to other libraries.

While most public libraries and college libraries affiliated with state-sponsored institutions offer open access to their facilities and general collections, private college libraries and special libraries are likely to permit access only with special permission or during certain hours.

InfoPasses & Letters of Introduction

  • If you need to visit a library that has access restrictions, a Reference librarian can issue you an InfoPass (for libraries in the Chicago area) or write a letter of introduction on your behalf.
  • Please note that an InfoPass, or letter of introduction will only help to grant you access to a library—it will not allow you to check out materials.

Reciprocal Borrowing in the Chicagoland Area

Northwestern University has a special arrangement with:

For access to the their collections and borrowing privileges for current students, faculty and staff, please check with the Northwestern University Library's Library Privileges office regarding hours and procedures.

Visiting a CIC Library

  • Northwestern is part of the CIC- the Committee on Institutional Cooperation
  • The CIC is comprised of the universities of the Big 10 athletic conference, plus the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago
  • NU students and faculty may enter the main library at each member institution by showing their WildCARDs.
  • NU faculty will be granted borrowing privileges at CIC libraries by obtaining a CIC Borrower's Card from the Northwestern University Library's Library Privileges office.

Access policies at other libraries may change from time to time. Check with Reference staff in the Northwestern libraries before you go to make certain you can access the materials you need.