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General Collections

Accessing Materials from Off Campus

On July 17, 2023, UK Libraries began using the OpenAthens platform for managing access to electronic resources.

If you experience any difficulty accessing our collections, please contact our Electronic Resources team at

How do I create links to library content in Canvas and elsewhere?

  • Prefix-style links can be update with a new prefix:

    • Old EZProxy link:[content] 

    • Updated OpenAthens link:[content]

  • Embedded-style links (e.g., will need to be replaced with a new link provided by the database

How do I manage my Bookshelf on Proquest's Ebook Central?

Proquest’s Ebook Central "Bookshelf" is a personal account required to download e-books and save settings, such as highlighting text. Users usually register for their bookshelf after they authenticate access. However, ProQuest streamlines this process when the institution uses single sign on options like OpenAthens. The Bookshelf is automatically created and paired with the OpenAthens login. The user doesn’t have to remember a separate login.

Once access is activated:

  • New Ebook Central users won’t need to register for a bookshelf manually
  • Existing Ebook Central users won’t be able to login to their old Bookshelf

If you have lost access to your old Bookshelf settings, you can retrieve them by asking ProQuest to merge your former and your new accounts. The email for the support desk which can facilitate this merger is

Where do I ask a question or report a problem?

Please contact us at

Article Express

What kind of reproductions will the service deliver?

We can provide reproductions of journal articles, portions of books, excerpts from anthologies, or conference proceedings, including copies from non-circulating reference collections and non-print resources.

How do I make a request for reproductions?

To request reproductions, fill out the Article Express Form located under the New Requests dropdown menu on the ILLiad Main Menu. Please include complete bibliographic information for your requested material.

How will my copies be delivered?

Reproductions will be delivered electronically to your online ILLiad account. You can find them by selecting Electronically Received Articles from the ILLiad Main Menu.

How do I access materials held in UK Libraries Storage Facilities?

All material housed in our Storage Facilities may be requested for retrieval by any library user. The InfoKat record for your desired item will notify you that it is located in Storage.

If you would like a reproduction of a journal article or book chapter from an item in Storage, place a request using the Storage Article Express Form, located under the New Requests dropdown menu on the ILLiad Main Menu. Please include complete bibliographic information for your requested material. These reproductions will be delivered digitally, and you can find them under the Electronically Received Articles tab on the ILLiad Main Menu.

If you are looking for a whole book, a complete journal volume, or microform materials held in Storage, you will be able to click the “Request” button on the InfoKat record for your item and select your preferred location for delivery. These materials will be delivered physically, and you can check the status of your request by selecting “Request Information” in your Library Account.

What if the material I have requested cannot be located?

If we cannot locate the material you have requested or provide it in a timely manner, we will automatically refer your request to Interlibrary Loan.

Are there any costs?

No, all Express Delivery Services are free.

Are there any copyright restrictions?

For items under copyright protections, we are limited to copying 10% or one chapter from a book, and one article per journal issue. We reserve the right to refuse any orders we believe would violate copyright law. 

Are there any service restrictions?

We are not able to provide reproductions from the Special Collections Research Center or the Law Library. 

If you would like to request digital scans of SCRC materials, please visit our Conducting Research at the SCRC page for more information. 

Additionally, we will not provide reproductions of material that is already available in full-text online.


It is the borrower's responsibility to understand and comply with all UK Libraries' policies. As a borrower, you are responsible for all materials charged to your account. Your library card may not be loaned to another person. The card holder is responsible for all costs and consequences of card misuse.

Who is eligible to borrow materials from UK Libraries?

  • Any current student, faculty, or staff of the University of Kentucky with a valid UK ID
  • Any resident of the state of Kentucky who is at least 18 years of age with a valid KY driver's license or KY non-driver's ID
  • Students and faculty of any Reciprocating Kentucky college or university with a valid school ID with photo
  • Members of the University of Kentucky Alumni Association with a valid Alumni Associate membership card
  • Emeritus Faculty
  • Donovan Scholars
  • English as a Second Language students (ESL)
  • OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program participants with an RFBP card and ID from a participating institution.

Getting a UK Library Card (Non-UK Borrowers)

Users from other reciprocal institutions may use their institutional ID as their UK Library Card. (Example: A student at Eastern Kentucky University may use their EKU ID to check out a book at UK Libraries)

Community borrowers may be issued a UK Library Card in person at any UK Library when presenting proof of residence in Kentucky. A utility bill, a copy of a lease, a Kentucky driver’s license, and other documents may be used to prove residence. Please contact with any questions about obtaining a UK Library Card.

Loan Period & Item Limits

Loan periods and item limits may vary depending on the borrower, the type of material, and the holding library. 

Item Limits
  • UK Faculty & Staff, Affiliated Faculty & Staff, Emeritus Faculty, and Visiting Scholars: 100 items
  • UK Graduate Students and Donovan Scholars: 75 items
  • UK Undergraduate Students: 25 items
  • Non-UK Borrowers: 10 items

Renewals Limits

  • UK students, community members, and reciprocal borrowers may renew items twice 
  • Faculty and staff may renew items four times

If you still need an item after the last renewal, bring it back to the library. We will check the item in and then check it back out to you, as long as it has not been requested by another user. 

There are no renewals on course reserves.

Learn more about Loan Periods & Item Limits for all UK Libraries user groups

Recall Request

Any UK Libraries user may request a book that is currently checked out to another borrower. UK Libraries will notify the borrower that the item has been recalled, and the borrower will need to finish and return the book within two weeks, unless the original due date is earlier. The user requesting the book will be notified when the book has been returned and is ready for pickup.

Note that recalled items not returned by the new due date will accrue a recall overdue fine of $2.00 per day. Please respond to these notices promptly.

Items that have been recalled may not be renewed.

Research Assistant Authorization

UK faculty and staff may authorize one or more persons to borrow and request library materials on their behalf by submitting this form. A verification email will be sent to the requesting faculty or staff member. Authority to engage in other services and equipment may vary from library to library. Please contact with any questions.

Course Reserves


To ensure that your course reserves will be ready on the first day of the semester, please submit your reserve list by the deadline. These deadlines are communicated via the Course Reserves listserv, and are typically two weeks before the beginning of the semester.

Due to the quantity of reserve lists we receive at the beginning of the semester and the processing time involved for each list, a list submitted after the deadline may take two or three weeks to fulfill from the time it is received.

With this in mind, reserve lists may be submitted any time during the semester.  If you would like to add to an existing list that you have already submitted, please submit a new form. 

Course Reserves Listserv

The Coursereserve-L listserv provides information and helpful tips to instructors regarding deadlines, policy updates, and other frequently asked questions.

If you have placed materials on reserve, you will automatically be added to the listserv. 

To subscribe or unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to or to Terri Brown at with your first name, last name, and email address.

Distance Learning Services

How do I know if I qualify for Distance Learning Library Services?

Anyone enrolled in classes with a 200-level section number (for example, ENG 401-201) qualifies for Distance Learning Library Services

Do I need a library card to use Distance Learning Library Services?  

A library card is necessary to request physical materials from the library and to set up an ILLiad account to use Interlibrary Loan and Express Delivery Services. You may access databases, e-journals, and other electronic resources without a library card, using your linkblue ID.

To request a library card, please fill out this application form or contact your Distance Learning Librarian.

How do I request physical materials from the library?

If you would like to receive digital copies of articles or excerpts from non-circulating materials, please visit our Express Delivery Services page. If you are looking for materials that are not currently held by UK Libraries, you may be able to borrow them through Interlibrary Loan.

Do I have to pay shipping costs when borrowing books or other physical materials from the library? How do I return materials when I am done?

UK Libraries will absorb the cost of shipping materials to you. 

You may return materials in person or by mail. You are responsible for return shipping costs. We suggest shipping materials via the USPS Library Mail Service, which offers low rates for books and media materials. 

The exception to this rule is when we need to use Interlibrary Loan to acquire materials for you, in which cases we will pay shipping costs both ways.

For more information about borrowing physical materials from the library, contact your Distance Learning Librarian.

If I am taking a mixture of face-to-face and Distance Learning courses, do I still qualify for Distance Learning Library Services?

Yes. In these cases, please contact your Distance Learning Librarian to discuss the best way to set up your library account.

Is there a limit to how many materials I can request?

You have the same privileges as on-campus students and may check out up to 25 items for 126 days. See our Borrowing page for more information.

If I still have questions, who can I ask for help?

Please direct all questions regarding Distance Learning Library Services to your Distance Learning Librarian. We are happy to assist you in any way we can.

Fines & Fees

The Libraries are responsible for managing large collections of state-owned materials and must provide an incentive for these materials to be returned in a timely manner. Overdue fines are used as an incentive for borrowers to return library materials after an established, reasonable loan period, so that materials may be properly accounted for and can be made available for other borrowers. 

Overdue Letters sent via email are issued as a courtesy to all library users. Please ensure that your email address is current in the Library System. Unpaid fines may result in suspension of borrowing privileges, the withholding of transcripts and/or diplomas, and/or the blocking of class registration.

All legitimate objections to library charges will be considered, however the following will not constitute a legitimate basis for contesting fines:

  • Lack of knowledge or understanding of UK Libraries policies
  • Disagreement with the fine structure or the amount owed
  • Inability to pay fines and charges, since payment plans are available
  • Unwillingness to take responsibility for materials checked out to you and loaned to a third party
  • Failure to receive or read an overdue or courtesy notice
  • Fines accrued during vacation or University holidays

The Libraries would much rather have items returned on time than to charge fines. Please return library materials on time and avoid overdue fines.

The Fines Office is always closed on academic holidays and the week between Christmas and New Years Day. We do our best to maintain the posted hours of operation, though circumstances will occasionally force us to close. You can call the Fines Office at 859-218-2025 or the Circulation Desk at 859-218-1881 to ensure we’re open before making a trip.

Claimed Returneds

If you believe you have returned an item that is being billed as overdue, please contact the owning library’s Circulation Desk to file a Claims Returned, or submit a Claims Returned form. Library personnel will search for the item up to three times within a maximum of 60 days. The item will stay charged to your account during the search period, but a note will be placed in your record to allow you to continue to check out library materials while the claim is in process. 

If the item is found in the library, the item will be checked in and any fines will be removed. If the material is not found, you will be assessed a lost book replacement cost of $100.

During the claims returned process, you should continue to look for the item. If you find the item, please return it to the library and let the Circulation Desk know that there is currently a Claims Returned on the book.

Damaged or Lost Library Materials Cost

Following our Damaged and Lost Library Materials Policy, the following costs are assessed for lost items:

  • Lost book replacement cost: $100
  • Other lost item replacement cost: $10

Interlibrary Loan

The conditions for use of the Interlibrary Loan services are set by the Interlibrary Loan Code of the American Library Association, US Copyright Law, and by regulations of individual lending libraries. 

Please contact a librarian with any questions about our Interlibrary Loan services. We are happy to assist you in locating the materials you need.

Who may use Interlibrary Loan?

All University of Kentucky faculty, emeritus faculty, staff, students, and visiting scholars may use ILL services, provided they have no outstanding library fines or fees. 

Young Library Interlibrary Loan serves all colleges and departments, with the exception of the College of Law, which is served by Law Library Interlibrary Loan.

How long will it take for my materials to arrive?

Most material may be acquired within two weeks, though some material may arrive more quickly. International requests may take more than three months to obtain. Always indicate any deadlines you may have on the ILL form and plan on submitting your requests well in advance.

Are there limitations to the kinds of materials that can be borrowed?

Yes. Materials generally not available for loan include pre-1800 imprints, rare books, newspapers and manuscripts, some PhD and Masters theses, audiovisual materials, genealogical material, textbooks, and e-books. Additionally, photocopies of certain material protected by copyright and materials in our collection with circulation restrictions cannot be obtained. To acquire leisure and recreational materials, please consult your local public library. 

Please ask a librarian with any questions about available materials.

Are there restrictions on the use of borrowed materials?

Any use restrictions will be clearly indicated on the blue band of all borrowed material. The lending library may stipulate that use of an item be restricted to the library and it may prohibit all photocopying of the item. Interlibrary Loan is a courtesy provided by the lending library and any conditions of use imposed by that library must be strictly observed. Disregarding restrictions may result in cancellation of interlibrary loan service to the patron.

Long-term use of borrowed material is prohibited, with the exception of materials from the Center for Research Libraries, which have unlimited loan periods. 

What happens when my loaned materials are overdue?

Borrowed items kept overdue by patrons create critical problems for Interlibrary Loan service. Lending libraries may cease to lend to our institution until all overdue material is returned. Costly fines and replacement fees could also be incurred. Items kept extremely overdue will result in a $20 fine from UK Libraries and a block of your use of the ILLiad service until the overdue is resolved. 

Does ILLiad track my request history?

Current, finished, and canceled requests are logged in ILLiad, but please note that data is periodically purged from the system, so it is your responsibility to save any request information that you would like to keep as a permanent reference.

Resetting Your Password

If you need to reset your Library Account password, please select from the following options based on your affiliation with UK:

  • UK students, faculty, and staff with linkblue credentials should use the linkblue Account Manager
  • Community users should use this password reset form and provide their user ID or registered email address

For any additional assistance with your Library Account, please send an email to

Statement on the Appropriate Use of Electronic Resources

UK Libraries' electronic resources, including databases, ebooks, and e-journals, are generally governed by license agreements that limit their use to current UK students, faculty, and staff, or community members who are physically present in the library.

Each user is responsible for ensuring that licensed products are used only for non-commercial, educational, clinical, scholarly, or research purposes. Permitted actions generally include: downloading, viewing, temporarily storing, or printing discrete, reasonable portions of the materials.

The following activities are strictly prohibited:

  • Systematically downloading, distributing, or retaining indefinitely substantial portions of information
  • The use of software such as scripts, agents, or robots to harvest information
  • Sharing passwords or other access codes with unauthorized users
  • Running open proxy and open terminal services
  • Posting copyrighted materials on publicly accessible websites
  • Sharing proprietary or client software connected to information resources

Violations of these terms may result in the loss of access to these resources for the entire University of Kentucky community. 

Engaging in actions intended to circumvent or defeat access control mechanisms of the library or information provider may result in revocation of library privileges and other campus, civil, or criminal disciplinary measures. 

Systematic downloading, either manually or with specialized software, is detectable by information providers and traceable to specific computers. 

Use of these resources may also be covered under UK’s Use of Technology Resources regulations. Each licensed product may have more specific or additional permissions or prohibitions. In many instances, walk-in users (individuals who are physically present on the UK campus and who are not UK students, faculty, or staff) are restricted in the amount of material they may download or print by the specific agreement for a license. 


Exceptions to these limits include titles in the public domain, government documents, and certain open access works.

  • Public domain titles are those for which copyright protection has expired, been explicitly waived by the work’s creator, or is not allowed (as with many government documents).
  • Government publications created by federal employees in the course of their work are considered in the public domain in the US. Publications from many non-US governments are also freely available for reuse.
  • Certain open access works may have fewer limits on reuse. Many open access works are still governed by publisher restrictions, and their terms of use reflect the terms of use for licensed resources. Others are governed by Creative Commons licenses, which allow for broader reuse. Some Creative Commons licenses allow for reusing the original work on the broadest of terms, as long as the original creator is credited. Other Creative Commons licenses only allow for downloading and sharing the work non-commercially, and disallow any changes to the original work. There are other Creative Commons licenses that fall between these two extremes. If a work is open access, double-check how it may be reused, or contact the Electronic Resources Department for assistance.

Please direct any questions about the appropriate use of licensed information resources to

Special Collections

Security Procedures and User Agreements

To ensure the security and preservation of the SCRC's rare and unique materials, we ask that all users review and abide by the following procedures.

Please limit personal items to laptops, tablets, note-taking paper or notepads, and pencils. Pencils and note-taking paper are provided.

Lockers are available for secure storage of all other personal items not permitted in the BRR. Items prohibited outside of lockers include:

  • Pens
  • Food, drinks, candy, or gum of any kind
  • Book bags, brief cases, laptop cases, purses, hand bags
  • Coats, hats, gloves, scarves, umbrellas
  • Large binders or notebooks

A staff member may ask that you store or discard any other items they deem a potential risk to collections. Please consult with BRR staff regarding outside books, notes, or other materials you would like to use while conducting research or utilizing the room for quiet study.

The Breckinridge Research Room is equipped with security cameras and other security devices.

[NB: Special permission must be obtained in order to bring in outside books/notes needed in connection with SCRC materials.] 

Technology Use

  • Please silence all cell phones and limit their use to messaging. Phone conversations in the BRR are prohibited. 
  • We ask that users mute laptops and tablets or wear headphones if playing audio.
  • Non-flash cameras or non-flash phone cameras are permitted. 
  • Tables are equipped with outlets.

Material Use

Many of our materials are very fragile. To ensure their long-term preservation and capacity for re-use, we ask that you carefully follow these material use guidelines.

Accessing and Arranging Materials

  • The staff person on duty will check out and check in items for you. We will be happy to help you with large or heavy items.
  • Boxes and materials should be kept on a table, never on the floor or on a chair. 
  • Please arrange boxes and materials on the table to allow for a clear line of sight between yourself and the staff person and page on duty. We ask that you do this for security purposes, and so that we may ensure proper handling of materials and optimal service for our researchers. 
  • Reference books in the BRR should only be reshelved by SCRC staff.

Viewing and Handling Materials

  • Please view only one item at a time. 
  • Retrieve material from one folder at a time, using a place-holder to indicate where a folder was removed from the box.
  • Keep all materials flat on the table. Be mindful of your elbows and be careful not to lean on or bend materials. 
  • Please turn pages one at a time.
  • All materials must be kept in the exact order in which they are found. If you notice something that appears out of order, please alert the staff person on duty and do not attempt to correct the error yourself.
  • Never place your note-taking paper or laptop on top of an item. or write over top of an item. 

Be aware that at any time, a staff person or page on duty may approach you with a friendly reminder regarding these policies, or to adjust the use of materials to better accommodate the condition of a fragile item. This is a normal part of research with original or fragile materials.

Use of Space for General Study

The BRR is available to all registered users as a quiet study space. No appointment is necessary to access the room for general study, though you will be asked to sign in when you arrive.

Historical Language

You may come across language in our collections or online resources that you find harmful or offensive. In the interest of preserving and presenting the historical record, the SCRC collects materials from all cultures and time periods. These materials document the time period in which they were created and demonstrate the views of their creator. As a result, some may contain oppressive, biased, and marginalizing language that does not reflect the values of UK Libraries.

We make every effort to ensure that our finding aids and collection guides do not reproduce the harms of the materials they describe. If you find a description with problematic language that you think the SCRC should review, please contact us at

Breckinridge Digital Studio

The Breckinridge Digital Studio (BDS), located in the Breckinridge Research Room in the Special Collections Research Center, provides scanning equipment to all registered users for the digitization of personal research materials and select SCRC materials. 

The Breckinridge Digital Studio is open during regular SCRC hours.

To ensure the continued availability of BDS equipment and the preservation of SCRC materials, all users are expected to agree to and comply with the following policies, procedures, and use guidelines.

Breckinridge Digital Studio Equipment

The following equipment is available for users wishing to digitize research materials:

  • Bookeye 4 Planetary Color Scanner
    • Ideal for papers, books, photographs 
    • Accommodates flat and bound items up to 18 x 24.4 inches
    • Scans up to 600 dpi
    • Full color or grayscale  
  • Plustek OpticFilm 8200i SE Film ScannerFilm & Slides
    • Ideal for 35mm negatives and mounted slides
    • Scan area: 1.45 x 1 inches (36.8 x 25.4 mm)
    • Scans up to 7200 dpi
    • Full color  
  • FotodioX LED Studio-in-a-Box Tabletop Studio 
    • Ideal for photographing small to medium-sized objects
    • Accommodates items up to 25 x 25 inches
    • Interior LED lighting with black, white, blue, and gray backdrops
    • Users must supply their own camera

Please note that a USB drive is required to save files when using scanning equipment.

Security Procedures and User Agreements

The BDS is governed by the same security procedures and user agreements [link] as the Breckinridge Research Room. Use of BDS equipment requires compliance with these policies as well as UK regulations governing the Use of Technology Resources.

Materials Review

Please note that all personal research materials are subject to review by SCRC staff to ensure that they do not pose a risk to the SCRC’s collections, equipment, or environment.

Technical Support

SCRC staff are available to assist users with basic technical support for BDS equipment. If advanced technical support, troubleshooting, or training is required, please contact us at to schedule a one-on-one appointment with the SCRC’s Digital Lab team. 


Please be aware of the following guidelines governing user liability for all digital reproductions made in the BDS, as well as policies for

  • Scanning materials and obtaining usage rights is solely the responsibility of the user. 
  • Reproductions made in the BDS are for personal research use only, in accordance with copyright law. Permission to publish must be secured separately, and obtaining usage rights is solely the responsibility of the user.
  • Researchers utilizing the BDS assume all liability in the use of BDS equipment.

Scanning rare books may be limited based on the condition of the item. Photocopying rare books is prohibited.

Digital Imaging Specs

The SCRC digitizes a tremendous amount of material in order to better preserve and provide access to our rare and unique resources. For information on the SCRC’s imaging standards and workflow, digitization statistics, and best practices, as well as the equipment we use for imaging, please consult the following PDFs: