Skip navigation links (access key: Z)Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives CanadaSymbol of the Government of Canada
Français - Version française de cette pageHome - The main page of the Institution's websiteContact Us - Institutional contact informationHelp - Information about using the institutional websiteSearch - Search the institutional - Government of Canada website

Banner: AMICUS
Canadian National Catalogue

IntroductionCommentsAMICUS Help
Go to Registered Service
Basic Search
Advanced Search

Requesting and Saving

Select a topic below or the Help Contents

Locating an Item

What are locations?

Locations in AMICUS identify which libraries have the item you found during your search. With hundreds of libraries across Canada reporting their holdings AMICUS often lists several locations for an item. You can request the item from these libraries via an interlibrary loan.

Where is the locations information?

AMICUS features a Locations button to indicate the presence of information on locations. The Locations button is displayed on the Record screen and below each result on the Results screen.

Screen shot of Results

When there is no Locations button displayed, it means that no library has reported having the item.

What type of information is there about the library location?

Click the Locations button to display the Locations screen with the information below.

Screen shot of Holdings
  • Library Symbol: The Canadian libraries that have reported holdings for the item are listed alphabetically by their symbol. Click the symbol to display interlibrary loan information about the library.
    • Library name (if underlined, click to see the library's home page)
    • Loan policy for monographs and serials
    • Charges and terms of payment
    • Items not available for loan (example: rare books)
    • Comments
    • Library mailing address
    • Telephone, fax, email and other addresses (example: IUTS)
    • Other library codes (example: WHO code)
    • Type of library (example: public library)
    • Link to the library's Web, Telnet, or Z39.50 catalogues
  • Holdings: For serials and multi-volume monographs, the holdings identify the specific parts of the item held by the library. The holdings may be incomplete; some libraries report selectively or for special collections only. For single-volume monographs, the holdings area is usually blank. Holdings use specific abbreviations and punctuation.
  • Availability for Interlibrary Loan Request: AMICUS shows the R (request) command if the item is available from a library. Click the R to display a form to request the item from the selected library. The code "not specified" before the R indicates that the item may be available for interlibrary loan.

Customizing the Locations Screen

You have the option to highlight your favourite libraries on the Locations screen.

Requesting AMICUS Items

You can request any item found in AMICUS.

Requesting an Item with Locations in AMICUS

Screen shot of Locations button
  1. Click the Locations button on the Results screen or the Record screen to see which libraries have the item.
  2. Select a library on the Locations screen. Click the library symbol to display information about the library's addresses (including its email address) and interlibrary loan policy.
  3. Click the R command to start a request for the item. If there is no R command, the item is not available for interlibrary loan from that library.
  4. Fill out the request form.
  5. Click the Show Request button to see your completed request. To edit it, click the browser's Back button. To print it, click the browser's Print button.
  6. Click the Send button to email your completed request. The Send button is not displayed if your library or the lending library is missing an email address (see step 2 above). In such cases, send the printed request via fax or mail.
  7. The lending library receives your email request in generic script. Recognized by most interlibrary loan departments, this script inserts three-letter codes before the data, such as DAT before the publication date. Ensure that your library's email address is listed correctly in the Directory of Symbols and Interlibrary Loan Policies in Canada. If the email address of a borrowing or lending library is outdated or incorrect, the request cannot be emailed.

The Request Form

The fields of the request form are described below. Fill in the fields that are in italic type; those in bold are mandatory. The last fields (from Volume/Chapter to the end) are required for photocopy requests. Use the Tab key to move from field to field.

Request to The name and symbol of the library that is to supply the item
Request for A short description of the item requested
Request Date The year, month and day of the request
Borrowing Library The symbol of the library that is requesting the item
Service Type The type of interlibrary loan service to be provided
Account no. If you have an account with the library you are requesting from, you can indicate it here.)
Delivery Specify the delivery mechanism you prefer and provide your full address for delivery here.
Local Request no. Your local request number
Patron The name of the client for whom the item is being requested
Remarks Additional information about the request, if necessary
Volume/Chapter The number of the volume, chapter or issue required
Date The date of the part required
Pages The pages of the part required
Article Author The author of the part required
Article Title The title of the part required


You can save yourn search results to create a bibliography. You can also download records to add to your local database.

Screen shot of Save button

To save from the Results screen, follow steps 1 to 3.
To save from the Record screen, follow steps 2 and 3.
Similar steps apply to the authority results and authority record screens.

  1. Click the box beside each result you want to save.
  2. Click the Save button. The View List screen displays what you have saved.
  3. Click the browser's Back button to return to searching AMICUS.

To View, Print, Copy or Email the Saved List

To see what you have saved, select the View List command available on most screens.

Screen shot of View List command

To print the list, use the browser's Print command.
To copy the list, use the browser's Copy and Paste commands.

Screen shot of Email button

To email the list, enter a single email address in the box and click the Email to: button. If the list contains accents, click the MIME box to retain the accents. If the email address is incorrect, the list will not be delivered.


Downloading allows you to move records in MARC 21 format to your local database.

Screen shot of Download button
  1. Save the records you want to download.
  2. Click the View List command.
  3. Click the Download button on the View List screen to have AMICUS convert the records to MARC 21 format before downloading.
  4. Click the Download button again. Your browser displays an output box with instructions to allow you to specify where to store the downloaded records. For Netscape, click the Save File button and then specify a file name. Netscape may suggest the extension .html for your file name. You can change this to plain text (.txt) or another extension.
  5. Click the browser's Back button to return to searching AMICUS.
Notes: When viewed, the downloaded file is displayed as a continuous string of data. The file can be imported into a local system that handles MARC 21 data; the import and use of data in a local system is the responsibility of your local system provider.

Help Contents

Proactive Disclosure