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Items Beyond Grinnell College Libraries

For more specialized and in-depth research projects, you don't want to limit your research to what Grinnell's library owns. Here are three ways to look for books beyond our collection:

Searching WorldCat

WorldCat is a catalog of academic and public libraries across the United States and many in other countries. Books found on WorldCat can be requested through Interlibrary Loan.  

Searching the Center for Research Libraries

Grinnell College is a member of the Center for Research Libraries, a consortium of North American universities, colleges, and independent research libraries.   The Center for Research Libraries is an especially good place to look for primary source materials, newspapers, and magazines. The Center responds quickly to interlibrary loan requests with most requests arriving within a week; you may often be able to get more materials and keep them longer than regular ILL.

To find materials that the CRL owns, you can search their catalog, browse their topic guides to find uncataloged materials, or ask a librarian for help determining what they might have that is relevant to your topic. Once you've found something you want, you can request it using ILL.  

Searching other libraries in Iowa

For some projects, you may want to browse widely through a set of books, newspapers, or magazines. It is worthwhile to check the holdings of other nearby Iowa libraries to see if something you need is readily available there. Some libraries to try are:

Checking out books from the State Universities

While most books borrowed from the University of Iowa, Iowa State, and UNI are obtained via Interlibrary Loan, it is also possible -- under certain circumstances -- to travel to those libraries and check out books yourself.

Before you go, however, be sure to check their Library Catalog (refer to links above) to make sure the materials you need are there, and be certain to read the circulation policies of that Library to make sure you are eligible to check books out.