All current Metropolitan Museum of Art staff and volunteers are eligible to use Watson Library's ILL service for Museum-related research. A valid Museum ID is required to create an ILLiad account.
Average turnaround time for book loans is about one week. Articles and book chapters that are delivered electronically usually arrive within 1-3 days. When an item is rare, difficult to find, or can only be obtained from a library overseas, delivery can take up to three months.
If you need something immediately and it is available at another library in New York City, your best bet is to go to that library in person (contact Watson Library's Reference Desk at x2225 for help in searching local libraries). If the item is not available in a local library, proceed with submitting the ILL request and indicate in the Notes area that your request is urgent. We will do our very best to obtain the item as quickly as possible. However, we cannot guarantee an immediate turnaround.
Items that are sent as PDFs will be available through the "Electronically Received Articles" section of your ILLiad account for 30 days.
If you have Watson Library checkout privileges:
Books will be delivered to your department the next business morning after you receive the email notification that they have arrived. If you want them immediately you may pick them up at the Circulation Desk. ILL books cannot leave the Museum building.
If you do not have Watson Library checkout privileges (e.g. interns and volunteers) or you are a carrel-holder:
Books will kept for you on the Watson Library Hold Shelves under your last name and must be used within the library.
No. Interlibrary loan books should be treated as Watson Library's own books. They cannot leave the Museum building, though in most cases you may take them to your office. Certain ILL books must stay within Watson Library—this is determined by the lending institution's policies. In these cases, you will receive an e-mail when the book arrives stating that it is "Library Use Only."
Due dates vary by lending institution—the label on the green book band indicates the due date in bold. Most books are eligible for renewal (see section below on renewals).
Though we stress that there are no limits to the amount of ILL requests which any researcher may place for Museum-related research, we do ask that you bear the costs of interlibrary loans to Watson Library in mind (see below) and only request items that are necessary for your research. Also, since book loans have a due date of approximately one month after they arrive and not all renewal requests will be granted, you may want to spread your loan requests over time if possible.
Researchers may request items for other current Met staff. However, the person whose name is on the request—not necessarily the ultimate recipient—is responsible for the loan. If multiple people will be requesting items on behalf of one other person, we recommend there be one centralized ILLiad account in the name of the person who will be using the item. However, the contact information (phone extension and e-mail address) for that centralized account should be a person who is willing to receive the notification e-mails and due-date reminders, and will be responsible for returning items on time, requesting renewals, etc.
For example, let's say multiple Research Assistants (Adam, Eric, and Marie) need to request items for Curator Fiona Hill. Since Adam works at the Museum full-time and checks his e-mail regularly, he can create an ILL account under Fiona Hill's name, but using his own e-mail address. Adam can then distribute the password to Fiona's account to Eric and Marie and they, too, can place requests for Fiona. If Adam, Eric, or Marie leaves the Museum and the book is still checked out, we still know that Fiona Hill has the book.
Adam, Eric, and Maria can still have their own private ILL accounts. They will just need to use a different username and password from the one on Fiona's centralized account.
Watson Library does not charge researchers for ILL requests. However, ILL transactions do cost the library money (about $18 per request on average, not counting staff time or overhead). The library is also responsible for paying fines for overdue, damaged, or lost materials. We ask that you please keep these costs in mind by only placing requests for items that are necessary for your research and by returning book loans on time.
If an item appears in Watsonline but is checked out to another researcher, please try recalling it before placing an ILL request. Recall instructions can be found here. If you do not receive the recalled item within a week, you may place an ILL request for it. Please indicate in the Notes field that you have already tried to recall the item.
If an item appears in Watsonline and is held by one of the Museum's departmental libraries, please request that copy through Watsonline. If the item is inaccessible or insufficiently accessible, you may place an ILL request for it. Please indicate in the Notes field that you could not use the departmental copy.
No. These items should be requested through Watsonline.
Yes. However, since the Museum has special arrangements with Columbia University Libraries, Bobst and the IFA Libraries at NYU, and ISAW (see here), and since New York Public Library is open to all researchers, we encourage you to visit those libraries in person.
No, with very few exceptions. Vendor licensing restrictions as well as proprietary software requirements make sending ebooks via ILL nearly impossible. However you may fill out the Book Chapter Request form to request a chapter from an ebook.
As with Watson Library books, you may return your ILL books to the Watson Library Circulation Desk or, if you are affiliated with a Museum department, leave your books to be picked up by someone from Watson Library according to your department's regular pickup schedule.
Log into your ILLiad account and select the book you want to renew from your "Checked out Items" list. Click on the "Renew Request" button. Renewals are not automatic and must be approved by the lending institution. You will receive an e-mail from us within a day or two stating whether your renewal request has been granted or denied.
This means the lending instutution has automatically blocked any additional renewals. If you are still actively using the item, please contact Interlibrary Services and we will try to contact the lending institution directly for an extension. If the request is denied you will need to place a new request for it.
Simply return the item and, if you still need it, submit another ILL request for the same item (you can easily do this by clicking on the "Clone Request" button of the book you currently have checked out). Please bear in mind that Watson Library may be charged by lending institutions for not returning loaned items on time.
ILLiad is Watson Library's interlibrary loan (ILL) management system. ILLiad is what you must use to request articles and book loans for items that are not located in one of the Museum's libraries, but which you need for your Museum-related research.
They are two completely different systems that do not talk to each other unfortunately.
Yes. You can access your ILLiad account as long as you have an internet connection. Click on the "Interlibrary Loan" link from any Watsonline page. You may also want to add the ILLiad logon URL (http://metmuseum.illiad.oclc.org/illiad/logon.html) to your browser favorites or bookmarks.
Reminder: usernames are case-sensitive. Contact Interlibrary Services if you forgot your username.
Reminder: passwords are case-sensitive. If you forget your password, click on the "Forgot Password?" link on the ILLiad Login page.
From your ILLiad Main Menu, you can view a list of your "Outstanding Requests." From there, you'll be able to see whether your request has been processed. Some common statuses you may see and their explanations are:
Awaiting Request Processing: The request has yet not been processed by ILL staff.
Request Sent: The request has been sent electronically to a series of potential lenders.
Awaiting Unfilled Processing: The request has been denied by the first (or several) series of potential lenders, and needs to be re-processed by ILL staff.
Awaiting Level 2 Search: The item is not available through regular ILL channels and requires additional search time by ILL staff.
Awaiting Level 3 Search: The item is not available for ILL from a North American Library, and requires extensive searching in European or other foreign institutions.
Delivered to Web: The item has arrived in electronic format, and you can view the PDF in your list of "Electronically Received Articles," accessible from your ILLiad Main Menu.
Checked Out to Customer: This is a book loan that is currently checked out to you.
Request Finished: You have received the item, and if it is a book loan, you have also already returned it.
Cancelled by ILL Staff: The request has been cancelled and is no longer active. You will always receive a notification via e-mail when a request is cancelled, with an explanation of why the item was not obtained. If you don't recall receiving an email, check the "Notifications" section of your ILLiad account.
Log into your account and select Update Profile from the Profile menu. Enter your full 10-digit mobile number in the Mobile Phone Number field. Then, under Notification Preferences, check the boxes for the types of text messages you would like to receive. Message and data rates may apply.
Nearly all journal articles, book chapters, book selections, etc. are delivered as PDFs to your ILLiad account. You will be notified via email when they arrive. They will remain in the "Electronically Received Articles" section of your ILLiad account for 30 days. Please download them to a different location if you would like to keep them longer than that.
You can do a keyword search of your ILL request history. "Active" searches only requests that are currently in process or checked out to you. "All" searches every ILL request you've made since you created your ILLiad accout.
These are copies of email and text messages sent to you regarding your ILL requests.
Once you are logged in to your ILLiad account, click on the Profile menu. From there you can update your contact information and change your password. We appreciate your help in maintaining accurate records, so please do update your ILLiad user information as often as necessary.
If you are searching Worldcat within the Museum building and you find something you'd like to request via ILL, simply click on the "Interlibrary Loan" link in the record for that item. That will prompt you to log in to your ILLiad account and will automatically populate the correct form for you (for journal articles you will still need to add the article author, title, and page numbers). If you are offsite, you can do this by accessing Worldcat remotely through Watsonline (instructions are on this page under "Remote Access Instructions").
If you only need a few pages or chapter from a book, or certain lot numbers from an auction catalog, for example, please fill out the Book Chapter form and specify the pages you need. You will receive a PDF much more quickly than a book and it saves both Watson Library and the lending library the cost and labor of shipping.
It is especially helpful for us to know if you have tried unsuccessfully to obtain a copy of something owned by the Museum libraries. But in general, the more specific you can be about your request the faster we can serve you.
We are always happy to hear from you or discuss issues in person. The Interlibrary Services office is located in Watson Library, towards the back of the Arthur K. Watson Reading Room. Circulation staff can direct you to us.
Robyn Fleming, Museum Librarian: (212) 396-5221, robyn.fleming [at] metmuseum.org
Amy Hamilton, Assistant Museum Librarian: (212) 396-2344, amy.hamilton [at] metmuseum.org
Jessica Ranne Cardona, Assistant Museum Librarian: (212) 650-2446, jessica.ranne [at] metmuseum.org
Dana Keith, Manager of Circulation and Reader Services: (212) 570-3983, dana.keith [at] metmuseum.org