Interlibrary Loan

You can use the interlibrary loan service to order literature that is not available at the Humboldt University Library. An alternative to interlibrary loan is the commercial document delivery service Subito.


  • If the item is available at another nearby library, it is often quicker to borrow it locally than to order it via interlibrary loan (delivery time is usually 1 to 2 weeks).
  • Alternatively, you have the possibility, especially for newly published literature, to make an acquisition request via this form. If we refuse to acquire the title, you will be informed and can then place an interlibrary loan order for which a charge will be made.
  • Please also note our current advice on interlibrary loan or Subito ordering of articles from Elsevier journals (in German only).

Order Process

  • Please order your interlibrary loan via the portal of the Cooperative Library Network Berlin-Brandenburg (KOBV). Journal articles are ordered via the German Union Catalogue of Serials (ZDB).
  • Search for your title in the portals. You will then receive a list of the library networks in which the work is referenced.
    But attention: This does not mean that the work is available for loan, only that it is listed in various libraries!
    To make sure that your order is feasible, select one of the associations and check in the listed libraries whether the work is available for lending and whether the library participates in interlibrary loan.
    Within the ZDB, you must also check whether your desired volume is available. You can narrow down the search by filtering the year of publication.
  • Order the title in the KOBV using the "Inter-library loan" button. In the ZDB, first select "Order options" and then the KOBV.
  • When you are asked for your user number and password, log in in the same way as in Primus:
    • HU members with their HU account
    • Non-HU members with their user number (HUUB... ) and their self-assigned password
    • Users with a substitute's card with the user number and password of the main card


Interlibrary loan is subject to the legal basis of the Interlibrary Loan Regulations and the UrhWissG.

Loan and Return

When ordering, you can choose between 4 locations for pick-up:

  • Asian-/African Studies and Islamic Theology Branch Library
  • Branch Library Campus-Nord
  • Erwin-Schrödinger-Zentrum
  • Jacob-und-Wilhelm-Grimm-Zentrum

Please note: Some media can only be made available for viewing in the reading room. You will receive a notification as soon as your order is ready. Please check your delivery location, as this may change under certain circumstances.

Interlibrary loans can only be borrowed and returned at the service desk. Furthermore, the media must always be returned to the location where they were issued.
The loan period of interlibrary loan media cannot be extended.

Costs and Fees

Ordering media and essays (max. 20 pages) costs € 1.50. This fee is always charged, even if the interlibrary loan cannot be delivered.

Extensive copy orders, as well as orders from abroad, may involve additional costs depending on the size of the order as well as the conditions of the respective supplying library.

As soon as the amount of the costs has been determined, we will ask you whether the costs will be covered before the order is placed.

However, you can also specify how high the costs for delivery may be when placing your order. The default setting is 8,- €, which you can determine variably.

Restrictions of Interlibrary Loan

Please make sure that your desired title is not available at the HU, otherwise your order will be rejected.
All other titles can be ordered via interlibrary loan, but not every order can be fulfilled!

These media are usually excluded from delivery:

  • titles available at a low price (max. 15,00 €) or without scientific value
  • literature that is particularly old, worthy of protection or of unusual format
  • loose-leaf editions (partial copies are possible)
  • journal volumes (copies of individual articles are possible)
  • newspaper volumes (partial copies are NOT possible)
  • theses
  • standards (DIN, ISO)
  • media not in book form (television recordings, slides, records, maps, plans, etc.)
  • e-books and sources freely available on the internet (such as digital copies of historical collections)

Media Loss or Damage

If you have lost or damaged an interlibrary loan item, please fill out the protocol of loss/damage (in German) completely.

Then hand this in at the counter or send this directly to the document delivery team after you have paid all outstanding fees and returned or renewed any overdue media.
Please refrain from purchasing your own replacements. We will take care of the replacement and charge you for the costs. You can find the costs either at the protocol or the scale of charges.

Help and Contact

Our tutorials show you how to research and place interlibrary loans.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us directly. We advise you on all questions concerning research, national and international loans and support you in ordering, either on site, by email or in our consultation.


Interlibrary loan questions:
+49 30 2093-99367 o. -99326

Questions about the document delivery service Subito:
+49 30 2093-99339






Information desk on the ground floor of the Grimm-Zentrum
Thursday 15:00 - 17:00 h


  • Research help
  • Support with ordering
  • Advice on open orders
  • General advice on interlibrary loan and international orders