Requesting Materials from Closed Stacks or via Interlibrary Loan


As a registered patron (see “Login”) you can request a book immediately upon finding it during your search.

Once you have found what you are looking for, just click on the button to request an item.

The Mainz Catalog Portal will figure out the most efficient request method for you and will, accordingly, place an order directly with the Central University Library in Mainz or with another library via interlibrary loan.

You no longer need to switch back and forth between various catalog systems—all request methods are integrated into the research architecture of the Mainz Catalog Portal!

Request Process

In order to execute a document request you need to have already logged in as a patron in the system (see “Login”). Once you have done so, you may access all the request functions in the Mainz Catalog Portal.

Once you have conducted your search, choose the option “Request” either in the summary list of results or in the field documenting one particular result.

Now the system will automatically check the availability in relevant libraries of the item in which you are interested.

The following outcomes are possible:

The item is available in the Mainz University Library.

If the book is located in the open stacks, you can retrieve it yourself.
If, on the other hand, the item you need is kept in the library’s closed stacks, then you can request it by clicking on the appropriate option.
In this case you will see the following message:

Click on the button entitled “request from your library.” This will take you to the standard request screen of your library. From here you can request the book from the closed stacks in the normal manner and then check the book out.

The item is available in the Mainz University Library but currently checked out.

If the item you want is available in the Mainz University Library but currently checked out, you can put your name on the waiting list for that item:

With the button “Hold Request” you can, using the usual functions of the borrowing system, request a currently checked-out item in advance of its return.

The item is not available in the Mainz University Library but is available in another library.

The item you have selected is not held by the Mainz University Library, but it is available in another library. In such a case you can request the book by interlibrary loan. But this is only possible once you have registered for the online interlibrary-loan system and have deposited sufficient funds on your interlibrary-loan billing account.

All these functions are integrated into the Mainz Catalog Portal. All you have to do is complete the order form and submit the interlibrary-loan request. After that you can use the “back” button on your browser to return to the Mainz Catalog Portal and continue with your search work (for more information see also: Online interlibrary-loan request (text in German)).

Additional Sources

As an additional service, the Mainz Catalog Portal also offers the “Additional Sources” function.

This function provides you with a list of alternative sources for the item in which you are interested. This list allows you to see which other libraries also own the item for the event that you wish to use a different library.

Blank Request

If you cannot request a desired book in the Mainz Catalog Portal, because the item either cannot be found or cannot be ordered in any of the catalogs united within the German union catalog, then you can submit an blank request.

Please enter your library card number and password for the interlibrary-loan system.
Then provide as much information as possible about the book or journal article you are requesting.

The blank request will be researched and processed by specialists within the Mainz University Library and, if possible, requested from an appropriate library.

The blank request function can only be used once you have logged in.

Further information on making an blank request (text in German).

Online Publications

In the case of online publications, you will find a button entitled “Full Text” rather than “Request” which is located in the results list. The former option will appear in cases in which the Mainz University Library currently possesses a license for digital content access. In such cases the “Full Text” button will lead you to a link entitled “The title you have searched for is an online publication.” From this link you will be taken to the current URL via which you can directly view the online content you are interested in.

For further information please see the chapter entitled “Online Publications”.


When looking for journal titles, the system will ask you to provide the relevant year of publication or volume number and, optionally, the issue number. This will happen after you have clicked on the “Request” button. Please provide at least the year or the volume number. This is necessary for processing a request for a journal.

For further information please also see the chapter entitled “Journals”.

Multivolume Works

The Mainz Catalog Portal also lets you look for multipart works and series.

For example:

You are looking for the series entitled “Virago Modern Classics.” Naturally you cannot request the entire series from the closed stacks. Thus please select the “volume” you would like to see.

By clicking on the “Volume” option you will presented with a list of all the series volumes to be found in all the libraries which are being consulted in your search. The list will be organized according to the volume number.

At this point you can choose the desired volume and request it the way you would any other book.

For further information please also see the chapter entitled “Multipart Works”