Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Logo

Pritzker Legal Research Center

Finding Books & Articles

A guide for how to find books and articles at the Pritzker Legal Research Center

Locating Books at Northwestern

Finding Books Owned by NU Libraries

NUsearch is Northwestern Library’s discovery search tool for finding books, as well as journals, newspapers, and more. NUsearch allows you to search for materials by Keyword, Title, Author, Call Number, and other methods.

Tip: If you can't find the book, try entering just a few words of the title and the author’s name in an advanced search. This will help you find the item even if the citation isn’t exactly correct.

To find a book in the library, see the Get It section of the catalog record to see which NU library owns the book and whether it is available. “Item in place” means that the book is on the shelf and is available. “Currently Unavailable” means that another patron has it checked out.

Books Available at the Law Library

Books and other print materials available at the Law Library are organized by location codes (MON; N,EAA; etc.) and by call number (KZ6385 .C67 2010). When looking for books available at the law library in NUsearch, take note of both the location code and the call number where you can find the book on the shelf.

The majority of books are in the MON collection on the second floor of the library. Books on foreign law will be in the N,-- collection on the third floor. Feel free to ask the circulation desk or reference desk for guidance on where to find books in the law library. 

Books in Law Library Closed Stacks

Books at the law library with locations of “Closed Stacks” are in storage at Northwestern Law. You can request these items using the Request books from Storage form. Items will be retrieved by library staff twice a day when the library is open. You will receive an email when the item is available for pickup at the circulation desk.

Books Available at Other NU Libraries

For books available at other NU Libraries, such the MAIN Library, sign in with your NetID to request the book. 

Select Law Library for Pickup Location. You will get an email when it is available for pickup, usually the next business day in the afternoon.

If the book’s status is “Currently Unavailable,” the copy is checked out by another patron. For privacy reasons, we are unable to tell you who has a book checked out. If no copies of the title are available at Northwestern, you will need to place an ILL request to obtain the book from another library (see below).


Locating Digitized Books in the Public Domain

Older books may be fully scanned, digitized, and available to download in PDF or other formats as exact replicas of the print versions. In general, books published in the United States prior to 1923 are out of copyright and in the public domain and can often be found through one of the below websites or databases. 

First search for the title of the book in NUsearch because the catalog will provide links to digitized books available in several databases. Click on the green "Online access" button to access the database where a digitized copy of the book is available. 

Some of the databases where the catalog links to for digitized books in the public domain include:

If you cannot find a link to the digitized book through NUsearch, try searching for the book individually in either Google Books or Internet Archive Books, both of which contain millions of digitized books in the public domain. 

Interlibrary Loan - When to Request Books from Other Libraries

Interlibrary Loan

If the book you are looking for is not available through Northwestern's library system, you can place an Interlibrary Loan request to get the book from another library.

To find materials at other libraries, search in, the catalog for libraries around the world.  It can help you discover books and articles beyond what Northwestern has in its collection. 

Worldcat item record details

When to Use ILL

Students should use interlibrary loan when they would like to use an item that is not available to them at Northwestern University. The library will attempt to obtain an item from another library. These scenarios include:

  1. A book that a Northwestern library does not own or is missing.
  2. A book that a Northwestern library owns but has been checked out. 
  3. A section or chapter from a book that is not available at any Northwestern Library.
  4. An article that is not available electronically or is only available in print at a Northwestern Library other than the law library.

Interlibrary Loan - How to Make an ILL Request

Log into your interlibrary loan account (ILLiad) using your NetID and password. In the left sidebar, there are two forms through which students can place requests—one for books and one for articles or chapters of books. Please only make one request per form (i.e., if you have three books that need to be obtained via ILL, submit three separate forms for each title).

When placing an interlibrary loan request for a journal source and cite assignment, please indicate in the notes field which journal and what article you are obtaining this source for (example: NULR 112.6 - Peery). For books, you should also note that you need the title page and copyright page.


Within the forms, enter as much citation information as possible. Please do not use abbreviations. You can search WorldCat for the correct edition of the book. It is helpful if you include the OCLC number (located in the Details section at the bottom of an item record on WorldCat).

Interlibrary Loan - Getting & Returning your ILL Books

Getting Your ILL Request

You will receive an email when your request is available. Articles will be delivered electronically. Books will be available for pickup at the law circulation desk. Please note that items may take anywhere from two days to two weeks or longer to arrive. The turnaround time depends on how many copies are available among other libraries, how long the lending library takes to process the request, shipping time, etc.

Returning ILL Books

The library that sent the book will determine the date by which it has to be returned. We will automatically request renewals from the library that owns them as due dates approach. If we are unable to obtain a renewal and the lending library requests that a book be returned, you will receive a notice that the book is due and the book must be returned to the circulation desk immediately.

Our failure to send back items that another library has loaned to us may prevent us from borrowing from them again. Loan periods for ILL items may be much shorter than loan periods for books owned by NU Libraries, so please take note of the due date and return them to the circulation desk when you are finished with the materials.