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Interlibrary Loan Service for overseas

As the only deposit library of Japan, the NDL has a mission of storing and preserving deposited materials as national cultural properties for present and future generations. Accordingly, the collections of the NDL are in principle to be read within the NDL building and not to be lent out to any individuals.

However, it is possible for overseas users to read NDL materials in the buildings of their university libraries or other community libraries under the supervision of library staff by taking advantage of the interlibrary loan service, provided that the following conditions are met:

Registration needed

A library wishing to borrow items from the NDL must register with the User Registration System for Interlibrary Loan Services.

Application procedure for user registration system for interlibrary loan services

To register for the system, a library must submit the following three documents to the address below by post:

Application for the User Registration System for Interlibrary Loan Services (PDF: 31KB)

This application is a written contract which includes the three following conditions that apply to our international loan service:

  • The borrowed materials will be read only within the specified reading room under the supervision of the library staff.
  • The borrowed materials will not be copied or duplicated by any means.
  • If the borrowed materials are lost or damaged, contact the National Diet Library immediately, and replacement or full compensation will be made as the National Diet Library instructed.
* Representative director's signature means the handwritten signature of a person whose position gives them the authority to be able to make a contract in the name of the library/institution. For example, the person who is in the highest position of the library or representatives in charge of contracts.
* Please send an original document with the handwritten signature of your library's Representative director.
Picture of the
room of your
This is to certify that your library is equipped with reading desks and chairs in the reading room in which the user will read the borrowed materials and that your staff can supervise the user (A picture contained in a leaflet or brochure is acceptable.)
* If there are copy machines or scanners, we would like to confirm that the user cannot use them freely. Please let us know the conditions for using them as well.
A leaflet or brochure
of your library

This is to certify your library's general description and activities. (Any other document which contains such information is acceptable.)

* We may ask more questions about your library or request other documents.


ILL-Section, Kansai-kan of the National Diet Library
8-1-3 Seikadai, Seika-cho, Soraku-gun, Kyoto Prefecture
619-0287 Japan

* Please send the original applications and other necessary documents to the NDL by post. We do not accept applications by fax or email attachment.

Notice of approval

After the application is approved, we will send your library the written approval, Certificate of User Registration and the other documents. You will need to wait about four to six weeks for the approval, etc., excluding time for postal delivery.
The Certificate of User Registration includes a User ID which are necessary for you to make loan and photocopy requests via NDL Search.

Loanable materials

Generally speaking, the materials that the NDL loans out are mainly Japanese books acquired in 1996 or later and foreign books acquired in 1948 or later. Please note that not all NDL materials are loanable.

Materials not loanable

  • Digitized materials
  • Serials (newspapers, periodicals, etc.)
  • Materials in deteriorated condition (acidic, etc.)
  • Rare and precious materials (old Japanese books, etc.)
  • Materials unsuitable to lending (large-sized books, reference books, pamphlets, etc)
  • Non-book materials (doctoral dissertations, single-sheet maps, electronic resources, music scores, phonographic records, microfilms, microfiches)
  • Documents considered as collection
  • Materials determined to be obtained on the market easily
  • Books for amusement

Period of Loan

The borrower is required to ship the borrowed materials back to the NDL within one month from the date of receipt.

* The NDL does not extend the deadline of loans. When the deadline comes, please return the materials. If needed, you can request to loan them again.

Number of Volumes to be Lent

The maximum number of items that can be borrowed from the NDL at any time is ten, including items that you already have from an earlier request.

Fee of loan

The requesting library bears only the return postage.
The NDL will bear the postage for sending the materials from the NDL to your library. Also, there is no lending fee.

How to Make a Request

Via Internet (NDL Search)

Please visit NDL Search to request materials from the NDL. A user ID number and password are required.

By fax or postal mail

You can make a request for loanable materials via NDL Search. If you cannot make a request via NDL Search, fill in the designated request form and send it to the following address by mail or by fax:

ILL-Section, Kansai-kan of the National Diet Library
8-1-3 Seikadai, Seika-cho, Soraku-gun, Kyoto Prefecture
619-0287 Japan
Fax: +81-774-94-9112

* We cannot accept any form other than the designated request form.

When Lending Is Not Possible

When the NDL cannot comply with the request, the NDL will send an explanation of the reason by email or by postal mail.

Sending Method

Shipping from the NDL to your library

The items are sent to the requesting library by registered air mail from one of the three NDL libraries (Tokyo Main Library, Kansai-kan, or ILCL), depending on which library holds the items.

Check on arriving items

The materials lent out by the NDL arrive with a loan slip and a sheet of information titled "To Borrowers". Please make sure the arriving items and the loan slip are correct and that the materials are in good condition.
The right side of "To Borrowers" is labeled, "Receipt Letter of the Loan Material". When you receive borrowed materials, please check the condition of the items, fill in the "Receipt Letter of the Loan Material" form, and send it to the library from which the materials were sent (Tokyo Main Library, Kansai-kan, or ILCL) by fax or email within three days. (The fax number and email address of the library you should send it to is written in "To Borrowers".)

[Before use of the loan materials]

  1. Arrival of the material
  2. Check the condition of the material
  3. Fill in the form "Receipt Letter of the Loan Material", and send it to the library from which they were sent
  4. Use of the loan material

* The information in the loan slips may be different from the information you entered in your application form sent by fax or mail.

Use of Borrowed Materials

  • The items that the NDL lends out must be read only in a reading room of the requesting library.
  • It is not allowed to copy them in the requesting library.
  • If a material borrowed from the NDL is damaged or lost, the NDL must be reimbursed.

Return Method

How to return

Please observe the following conditions when returning materials.

  • After using the borrowed material, please make sure again the item is in good condition. If the item was damaged or lost, please contact the NDL immediately.
  • When sending back the borrowed material, please pack it tightly in a solid box so that it will not move inside, and use the attached return address label attached.
  • Please keep the loan slip and "To Borrowers" in a safe place and put them between the leaves of the book when returning it to the NDL.
  • All returns must be sent by registered air mail or international air carrier providing tracking service and compensation for loss, not by surface mail.
  • Materials must be returned to the library from which they were sent. Do not return materials to the wrong library. The mailing addresses are:

Tokyo Main Library -
Loan Service Section, Book Service Division
National Diet Library
1-10-1, Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
100-8924 Japan

Kansai-kan -
ILL Section, Public Services Division
Kansai-kan of the National Diet Library
8-1-3 Seikadai, Seika-cho, Soraku-gun, Kyoto Prefecture
619-0287 Japan

Resources and Information Division,
International Library of Children’s Literature
12-49 Ueno Koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
110-0007 Japan

Return Postage

All materials lent out by the NDL must be returned at the expense of the requesting libraries.

For More Information on International Loan Service

Please contact us at the following fax number or e-mail address:

ILL Section, Kansai-kan of the National Diet Library
8-1-3 Seikadai, Seika-cho, Soraku-gun, Kyoto Prefecture
619-0287 Japan
Fax: +81-774-94-9112 / Email: ill-secat n d l dot g o dot j p

* If your library's name, address or other information is changed after approval, please let us know by letter or fax to the above address with your user ID.

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