Advanced Search Search Help
Certainly - in person, with an alumni card.
To request an Alumni Card please use the online request form through the Alumni Office website, or contact 617-353-9716.
The change to our new record management system (Alma) required ID changes for our users; old records unfortunately could not be made compatible with the new system. We no longer require PINs, but everyone needs a user name and kerberos password to fully access our catalog, and a visit on site will be necessary to establish access.
Alumni graduating pre-2010 need to:
apply for an alumni card here (you can print it out immediately).
bring the card to the IS &T Help Center (1st floor, Mugar) to create a new username/password combination.
go to a BU library circulation desk to be entered into the new system.
Our new discovery search system (BULSearch) is designed to locate the most relevant materials regardless of format. As a result, you will see a combination of books, documents, media, and full-text articles from both subscription and non-subscription sources. Subscription source access is usually limited to currently registered students, faculty and staff.
Alumni officially auditing a course and evergreen students have wireless access; consult the IS &T Help Center (1st floor, Mugar Library) if you are having trouble connecting. Unenrolled alumni must have a sponsor for on-site wireless access (guest access).
It depends on both the source of the eBook and your location. Any listed book in the public domain (Internet Archive, Project Gutenberg, Hathi Trust, and many others) should open full-text windows, whether at home or on-site in the library. Books that we acquire through eBrary and other publishers require a current affiliation for off-site access, but librarians can help you gain access on-site.
To request an Alumni Card please use the online request form through the Alumni Office website, or contact 617-353-9716.
An alumni card allows you to borrow physical materials from the BU Libraries, but does not convey online access privileges.
Evergreen students are issued a username/password that allows access to:
BU Common computers
If you do not have access, please consult the IS&T Help Desk on the 1st floor of Mugar Library.
Enter the journal title in BU Libraries Search if you want to see whether BU subscribes, in what format (print or online), and which years are covered. The categories (facets) in the left column can help you limit your search to online or print. (NOTE: If you are looking for a specific article, just enter the article title in the search box.)
Note that print journals have call numbers and are integrated with our print book collection UNLESS the record indicates that the item is in storage. Click the 'storage: use request form' link to retrieve the item from storage within 48 hours.
To locate only eJournals, you might try Find eJournals A to Z.
Since BU Libraries Search now retrieves many more formats than our old catalog search, it is important to remember that the process is "search first; limit later". For print books, enter your search terms (a title, author - any combination is fine!) and look in the results sidebar for the category "Books", subcategory "print books". The record will display the call number as well as availability (a date here will indicate that the item has been checked out). Clicking on the record will take you to the old library catalog.
There are a number of reasons why a full-text article may be unavailable.
You must be a current BU student, staff or faculty member to have access to subscription resources.
Check your browser - do you have a pop-up blocker enabled? This may prevent the article from opening.
If you are trying to retrieve an article from an office unrelated to Boston University, be aware that many workplaces install firewalls that might block access.
We are constantly adding journals - and unfortunately, sometimes a publisher withdraws access to a full journal run, or recent years of a journal. It may take time for these changes to be reflected in BU Libraries Search.
We get journals from many different providers, and sometimes the provider's server goes down - usually for a few hours at the most. Try again later; if the problem persists, please let us know which specific title seems to be inaccessible.
Are you seeing the message 'there was an error loading the tab'? Refreshing your browser should resolve this problem. If it persists, please let us know.
Please send us an email using the form on this page, giving as much detail as you can (a specific search sequence that brought you to the problem would be helpful, as well as exactly what isn't working; e.g., a refinement or limiter doesn't change the results as expected.) Please let us know the exact text of any error message you may receive as well, and whether you feel a follow-up response is necessary. Please keep in mind that some problems may be fleeting; others may take a while to fix. We appreciate your help in making the BU Libraries Search as accurate and efficient as possible.
The button is there; you may not be seeing it because the pop-up box may be larger than your browser window.
In both Explorer and Firefox, change the resolution quickly by holding down the 'Ctrl' key and pressing ' - ';Ctrl plus '+' will make the contents larger.
For a Mac, 'Command' and '-' achieves the same effect.
If this does not help, please let us know.
Yes! We're working now to provide help pages for you, available under the "Help" button you see in the upper right corner and the Search Help link in the Search box, to name a few. BU Libraries Search is still evolving, so we apologize if we haven't quite covered all the help topics yet - but we encourage you to ask about any problems you may be having using the form below.
Not yet. You won't find most newspaper articles; and e-Reserves (material your instructor may have placed on electronic reserve for your class) are not yet included. Articles in journals that we may only have in print may display as unavailable in full-text, so it's advisable to also check under the journal title if you can't find the article you're seeking.
For a more extensive list of what's not yet included, see What Is Not in BU Libraries Search.
For the eShelf to retain your marked items, you need to remember to sign in for each visit - this service is only available to BU affiliates with a BU login.
After you type in your first search and are looking at the results, go back to the black bar at the top of your page and click the 'sign-in' button. If you've already signed in to any other BU system, you'll see your user name appear to the left of the 3 black-bar buttons. If you haven't previously signed in, you'll be prompted to do so. You should remain signed in for your entire visit to the BU Libraries site.
Yes, within 7 days prior to the due date, with a PIN. Exceptions: your items are overdue; your record is blocked for any reason; or an item you wish to renew has been recalled by another patron.
If you cannot renew remotely and have no way to return items promptly, please let us know by calling us (617 353 3732) or emailing us using the form below (be sure to include title, call number and check-out location for each item). You may also send the request to Mugar Circulation, or by mail if postmarked by the item's original due date.
Items may be renewed twice. Mugar Memorial Library does not renew books by phone. more
A Personal Identification Number (PIN) can be obtained from the Circulation desk, in person. Please bring a current BUID.
The Fines Coordinator is available Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 3:00pm, at (617) 353-3736.
You need to come in and fill out a form available at the Circulation Desk (sorry - this service is not yet available electronically).
Holiday hours of operation are available here.
Dissertations completed by BU students are listed in the catalog by author; title, and school (e.g., Boston University Dept. of Physics), with some exceptions.
Subject searching of dissertations is very limited in the catalog, so a good alternative would be to search the online source Proquest Dissertations and Theses (the online version of Dissertation Abstracts). There is an open, public version and a by-subscription-only version (available to currently registered students, faculty and staff). The subscription version provides additional download access to full text of BU dissertations from 1997 onward, as well as 24-page previews.
The BU libraries generally do not collect dissertations from other institutions. We may be able, however, to borrow dissertations from other schools through ILL for current students, faculty and staff. (This service is not available to alumni or non-affiliates).
A few categories of Masters theses done at BU are collected by the libraries. If a thesis is not listed in the catalog, try contacting the school and department from which the student graduated.
We do not lend to individuals; however, we will lend to other institutions with whom we have a reciprocal relationship. You might try initiating a request with your institution's ILL service. Another option would be to purchase the dissertation through ProQuest's Dissertation Express.
We try to keep 3 copies of dissertations: an archival copy, a lending copy, and a microfilm copy. If the lending copy is missing, we cannot allow the item to leave the library, but you are welcome to view it on site.
Of course - we'll do what we can. Please use the form below, providing all the information available to you.
You can use this link for a pdf copy of the guide. The Theses/Dissertations Coordinator is Brendan McDermott , (617) 353-9387. His desk is on the 3rd floor of Mugar, Technical Services (take the North elevator).
You must have a user name and Kerberos password (usually issued within the first week of enrolling). You need this for EZproxy to work (popping up a BU login window for subscription items).
Yes. Students enrolled in online classes may request journal articles that BU owns in print, but which are not available online, through our Interlibrary Loan forms.
Yes. Students enrolled in online classes may request journal articles that BU does not own in print, and which are not available online, through our Interlibrary Loan forms.
Not at present. However, WorldCat will help you identify libraries across the country that might own a particular book, including public libraries in your area.
Keep in mind that most college and university libraries have an open access policy to the community, which would allow you to read material on the premises.
Look for the article title in BU Libraries Search. Clicking on the linked title should take you to the digital article.
Look for the journal name in BU Libraries Search. Click to title to show the range of years from every provider of electronic copy; a 'request' link will show you what we have available in print.
If working from a subscription database, the sfx link should take you to available full text.
Fulltext is not available for every article, or for every year of a journal to which we subscribe. It may be that our subscription began with later issues, or ended earlier than the year you need; it may be that the database arrangement with the publisher did not include all years, or that contract terms have changed recently. Look carefully at the available years in the BU Libraries Search results - we do often have overlapping suppliers of titles.
If we have a current subscription in print (check the BU Online Catalog link after each title listing in the eJournals Locator), the odds are greater that we would have an online subscription as well.
No - the 'Find@BU' icon is not a promise of full text - but we may have the journal in print!
Assuming that you are in the group eligible for access, no payment is required for articles in journal years to which we subscribe; however, we do not subscribe to all years of every journal. Remember to double-check journal titles in the BU Libraries Search for the most up-to-date and complete record of our electronic subscriptions, including the range of years available for a particular journal subscription.
Each eResource subscription is restricted by license to particular groups (Law, Med, and Charles River Campus). It may be that the resource you are trying to use is not available to your user group. (check you user group here)
If you are a staff member of BMC, you need to apply for a BU user name/kerberos password. Instructions are available on the Alumni Medical Library site.
Unfortunately, Westlaw is only available to Law students and staff. If you identify a resource that seems to only be available through Westlaw, we can probably supply you with a copy through our ILL service.
BU WorldCat Local allows current BU faculty, staff, and students to borrow books directly from other Boston Library Consortium libraries. Turnaround time is approximately three working days.
To use the service, 1) search for a book using the BU Worldcat Local link on the top page of the library's site and 2) if a button appears, click it. You'll be asked for brief identifying information, and your request is then sent directly to the BLC participating libraries. You'll get an email when the item is ready for pick-up at the Mugar Circulation Desk.
The method varies, depending upon your affiliation.
Interlibrary Loan services are offered to current BU faculty, staff, and students. All patrons except those affiliated with the Schools of Law and Medicine may place and track requests through our online forms.
Medical Library’s ILL form
Theology Library’s ILL form
Law Library’s website
Most materials arrive within 2-4 weeks from request date; some may arrive within one week. Requests for obscure or very popular materials may take several months to procure. If you have an urgent need for a particular item, speak with the ILL staff.
Photocopied articles will be held at the Mugar Circulation Desk. We also offer an option to mail photocopies to your academic department. Departmental mail delivery is only available for patrons who have an office or mailbox in an academic department on campus.
Renewals are at the discretion of the lending library. Most ILL books are renewable for a single two-week period. Renewal requests should be submitted in person or by telephone directly to the Interlibrary Loan staff, several days before the item is due. Since policies of lending institutions vary widely, renewals cannot be guaranteed. Once an item is overdue, it cannot be renewed. To submit an ILL renewal request, you may contact the ILL staff during office hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm, Telephone: (617) 353-3706.
No. You only need to identify the specific item you want. We have many resources to find locations for material
You may submit up to fifty ILL requests per week. Remember, however, that loan periods are limited (generally 2 - 4 weeks in length). If you need a large number of books, plan to space your requests so that you will be able to give each book due attention when it arrives.
No. This is a subsidized service. Mugar Memorial Library pays the ILL service fees assessed by supplying libraries and document delivery service providers.
Mugar Memorial Library's Interlibrary Loan Service is available to currently registered students, faculty, and staff affiliated with all schools and programs on the Charles River Campus, except Law and Theology. Students, faculty, and staff affiliated with the Boston University Medical Center, Boston University School of Law, and Boston University School of Theology should submit their ILL requests to the ILL units of their respective school libraries. Alumni, holders of BU Library Borrowers cards, and non-Boston University affiliated library patrons are not eligible for this service. They may use the ILL services of their current school, company, or public library.
Yes - If the library is a member of the Boston Library Consortium. You will need a BLC Card that is valid for a year if renewed on a semester basis.
Most libraries will not lend non-circulating
materials such as: periodicals; reference books; pre-19th century
imprints and newspapers (unless available in microform); sound
and video recordings; films; and computer disks materials with
controlled distribution, such as standardized tests.
held in the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston
University can not be borrowed though this service.
libraries restrict the loan of: very fragile or oversize materials,
microforms, and serials recent additions to their collections
and materials in high demand locally. Informally produced or unpublished
materials ("grey" literature)
may be difficult to obtain.
may not request materials that are owned by the
Boston University Charles River campus libraries. If a book you
need is currently charged out, ask the Circulation staff to recall
the book for you. If you cannot find a book you need on shelf,
please fill out a Search form at the Circulation Desk. If Circulation
staff cannot retrieve the book, you may submit an ILL request
for the missing title. If you think an item you need may be part
of our collection, but are unsure of how to locate it in the online
catalog, ask a reference librarian for assistance.
If the material you need falls into one of the above categories
and your need is pressing, you may wish to speak with the ILL
staff before you place your request. They will be able to help
you determine the best and quickest way to get the information