Guide to Using the National Humanities Center Library

a multitude of tomes

The librarians at the National Humanities Center facilitate the timely arrival of all books, articles, audiovisual materials, and archival scans Fellows need for their research. Even the most arcane requests are typically met. Since the Center welcomed its first cohort of Fellows in 1978, the librarians have succeeded in fulfilling over 99 percent of Fellows’ requests for research materials.

Most materials requested by Fellows are borrowed from the local university libraries or through interlibrary loan. The library also maintains a basic reference collection, including foreign language dictionaries and the complete Loeb Classical Library.

Making a Request

Fellows may order books, book chapter scans, journal articles, journal issues, audiovisual materials, and archival scans through the Library Request System.
It is only necessary to submit a title and author for book requests, unless the request is for a particular edition, in which case publisher and year should be provided. Requests for journal articles should include the following information: journal title, author(s), article title, volume number, issue number, and page numbers along with any other relevant citation details.
There is no limit to the number of items Fellows may request during the course of the fellowship year.

Local Materials

The majority of book and journal article requests are fulfilled via the libraries at Duke University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina. Materials are generally delivered by the following day, with the exceptions being those in remote storage and branch libraries. Fellows can keep local circulation books for the entire fellowship year unless they are recalled.

Interlibrary Loan Materials

Requests for resources that are not available at one of the local libraries are passed on as interlibrary loan requests. Materials ordered through interlibrary loan normally arrive within a week, though requests met by libraries outside the U.S. can take a little longer.

Borrowing Policies

Local Borrowing Due Dates and Renewals

  • Local materials are due at the end of the fellowship year unless they are short-term loans or are recalled by the lending library.
  • If you receive an item with a short-term loan, you will receive a notice a week before the item is due.
  • If an item is recalled, you will receive a notice with a firm due date.
  • You may notify Joe Milillo if you would like a replacement copy of a short-term loan or recalled item.

Interlibrary Loan Borrowing Due Dates and Renewals

  • Interlibrary loan books have paper bands on the covers listing the lending libraries and due dates. You can ignore all due dates as items will be renewed automatically, and you will receive a notice a week before the item is due.
  • When you are asked to return interlibrary loan materials, you may notify Joe Milillo to ask for a replacement copy. You may keep the copy of the item you currently have until the new copy arrives.

Interlibrary Loan Charges

  • Normally, there is no charge for interlibrary loan orders.
  • In rare cases, the fee for borrowing an item exceeds $50.00. If this happens, you will be asked to pay the difference. The transaction will be completed only if you confirm your willingness to accept the charge.

Reference Services

The library provides full reference support. You may email questions and are welcome to stop by the office of either Sarah Harris or Brooke Andrade for research assistance.

IT and Library Luncheon Tutorials

The library, in collaboration with the Center’s information technology coordinator, Joel Elliott, sponsors regular luncheon tutorials devoted to new research tools and other topics related to information technology, such as bibliographic management software, cloud storage solutions, and PDF management.