Items not in stock in the Library may be requested via the interlibrary loans service: we apply to other libraries to see if they can loan a book to us or send a copy of an article or book chapter for you to keep.
How do I make a request?
Before making a request, check Discovery to see if the item you want is in stock.
If you can find the item in Discovery, but it is not held by the Library, you will be presented with a link to an interlibrary loan form, where the details of the item you require will be filled in for you.
If you can’t find the item in Discovery, you can fill in a blank online form.
The first time you use the interlibrary loans service, you will be required to fill in a brief registration form. After that, you will just have to log in using your usual University login details.
Follow the instructions on screen and submit the request form electronically.
Who can use the service?
All Library users may use the service free of charge. However, there are limits in place for different groups.
- Staff and research postgraduates: no restrictions.
- Taught postgraduates: 15 requests per year. (Note: you will initially be assigned 5 requests, but you can increase this on request.)
- All undergraduates: 5 requests per year
Please note that a renewal also uses up one of your quota.
If you use up your quota and genuinely need more interlibrary loans, you may ask for more. When you are down to your last request, the form will show you a link to ask for a quota increase. Your request will be sent to your Faculty Librarian for approval.
Copyright regulations also apply, so you may only ask for one article from a journal issue or one chapter from a book. If you need more articles or chapters from the same publication, you may request a loan of the whole journal issue or book.
How long will I have to wait?
Most requests will be supplied within a week, but some items may take much longer, because they may be difficult to locate, or they may be in high demand. If an item is only available from overseas, it will be subject to approval by your Faculty Librarian, and may take longer than usual to be sent.
How do I get hold of my book or article?
If you have requested a book, we will send you an email (to your University email account) to say it is ready for collection from the Welcome Desk in the Library.
Articles and chapters in electronic form
If you have requested a book chapter or article, it will usually be delivered to your university email account. These documents are sent securely from the British Library using software called DRM Lite.
You will need to create a British Library On Demand account; this is separate from the account you use to request interlibrary loans.
You must open your document with Adobe Reader.
If you want access to the document for more than 30 days, you must print it (you may only print it once) or save it (you may access saved documents for up to 3 years).
Articles and chapters in print form
If we can’t get hold of your article from the British Library you will receive a photocopy or a print-out which you can keep. For staff and research students, the item will be posted to your departmental address. Taught postgraduates and undergraduates must come to the Welcome Desk in the Library to collect it; you will receive an email when it is ready for collection.
How long can I keep the item?
For whole books, the loan period varies depending on which library lends us the item. Renewal may not be possible, and the lending library may only allow consultation in our library, so it is not guaranteed that you will be able to take the book away with you.
Fines of £1.00 per day will be charged on books that are returned late. We will send you a reminder if your book is overdue, but if the item is not returned within one week of a final demand notice, you will be liable for replacement costs, which can be substantial: as of 1st August 2014, the replacement charge from the British Library is £156.50 (of which £78.25 is refundable if the exact item is replaced or the original turns up after the invoice is raised), so it is important to return your items promptly.
You can keep prints of articles and chapters indefinitely, but please note the time restrictions associated with printing documents delivered electronically (see above).
Requesting theses, dissertations, and standards
Many theses from other universities are available free of charge from the British Library’s EThOS service. If there is a charge for the thesis you require, or if it is not available from EThOS, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to source it for you. Likewise, for dissertations from other universities, or for British or American standards, please email email@example.com.
If you have any questions about interlibrary loans, please do contact the Library.