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Visiting Scholars


The International Reference Services provide visiting scholars – whether students, faculty, or independent scholars – with library orientation and tours, bibliographic sessions, and general reference assistance for regions and languages covered by the International and Area Studies Library (IASL). We can assist in-person at the library and also remotely at the convenience of each patron, with both short-term and long-term questions and projects. Common inquiries include locating specific materials or unique collections, citation verification, finding resources in/about specific languages, using University of Illinois collections and resources, and research assistance. These services are open to all scholars and do not require affiliation with the University of Illinois or with other institutions.

Questions about these services or general reference questions can be directed by email to internationalref@library.illinois.eduwhere they either will be answered by International Reference staff or directed to one of the IASL subject specialists.

General Library Orientation

International Reference Services offers in-person library orientation sessions and tours to visiting scholars year-round. These sessions can be personalized to include information about searching the University Library catalog, accessing public computers and using materials in the library, and how to contact the library for help.

To sign up for a general orientation session, fill out the Reference Information Request Form and select “Orientation” for the first question, as well as any area studies for which you would like further assistance or have additional questions. International Reference will contact you to set up a date and time.

In-Depth Research Consultations

We also offer online sessions via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, a videoconferencing tool. These sessions are designed to provide scholars with in-depth consultations on regions and languages covered by the IASL. To sign up for a consultation, fill out the Online Research Consultations Form and include as much information as you can about your research topic and what materials you need. International Reference will contact you to set up a date and time.