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Commonwealth Catalog: Home

Commonwealth Catalog is the statewide OPAC to borrow books from other Massachusetts libraries, including the Boston Public Library.

Contact Information

Sawyer Library Interlibrary Loan Department


Phone: 617-573-8427

Location: Sawyer Library Room 3017 (third floor next to Poetry Center)

Borrow from ComCat - the Statewide Catalog

Commonwealth Catalog or "ComCat" is the statewide catalog for library users to borrow books not owned by their local library. Suffolk University members can search ComCat for a book not owned by our libraries and have it delivered to the Sawyer Library. Many Massachusetts libraries participate in ComCat, including the Boston Public Library.


This guide  provides instructions for logging into your account, searching the catalog, and placing holds.

Key Features:

  • ComCat is a great resource for borrowing library materials, including popular fiction and non-fiction, DVDs, CDs, etc.   
  • ComCat is available to all current Suffolk University faculty, students, and staff.
  • Books must be picked up and returned to the Sawyer Library. Please allow up to two weeks for books to be delivered.
  • Books are checked out for 28 days and there are no renewals.

To access ComCat: click this link Commonweath Catalog or copy and paste: 

ComCat vs. ILLiad

What is the difference between borrowing books from ComCat rather than my ILLiad account?

  • The ComCat catalog allows library users to search a title and directly place a hold to be delivered to Sawyer Library. ILLiad requests books from the WorldCat catalog and requires library staff mediation; and therefore, an ILLiad request form must be filled out.
  • ComCat is only for borrowing research materials from other Massachusetts libraries. WorldCat allows Sawyer Library to borrow research materials from libraries across the country (and occasionally outside of the U.S.). 
  • While we tell library users to always allow two weeks for library materials to arrive, items borrowed from ComCat are likely to arrive faster because of the distance and the delivery mode.

How do I know when to use ILLiad rather than ComCat?

  • Articles and book chapter scans can only be requested through ILLiad.
  • A book not found in ComCat will need to be requested in ILLiad.
  • A book that is needed for longer than 28 days. Because ComCat books cannot be renewed, if a title is needed for a few months to finish a larger research project, please request through ILLiad.