You can ask for a physical loan of a whole book. The lending library will send us the item in the post and you will need to collect it from us.
Due to copyright restrictions, we cannot request access to whole e-books. If a print copy of the e-book is available, we can request this for you, or let you know if there is an Open Access (free to read or download online) version of the e-book available.
Some books are supplied on the condition that they are not taken out of the library. We will email you with further instructions if the book you have requested cannot be borrowed.
You can request a single chapter or extract from a book if you do not need the whole book.
We will ask the lending library to make a scanned copy of the chapter or extract. If they can do this, we will usually make it available for you through a service called Article Exchange – or through the 'Requests' tab in your Library Account. Some chapters or extracts may be supplied through a service called British Library On Demand.
You can request a single journal article from an issue of a journal.
When the request is complete, you will usually access articles using a service called Article Exchange – or through the 'Requests' tab in your Library Account. Some articles will be supplied by a service called British Library On Demand.
Articles are very rarely supplied in print. If this is the case, we will let you know what you need to do to collect the item.
If you need to access a thesis or disssertation from another university in the UK, the British Library’s EThOS - Electronic Theses Online Service is a good place to start. Please see the EThOS help page for more information.
If the thesis you are looking for is not available electronically, you can submit an inter-library loan request via the online form. However, not all institutions will be willing to supply theses in print.
It is not usually possible for us to supply copies or loans of theses submitted to institutions outside of the UK, unless these are available Open Access.
You can request other types of material (e.g. images, audio, films/documentaries or archive material) via the online form, but we cannot guarantee we will be able to supply these, especially if they are only available in digital format, are part of special collections, or are held in physical format by a Library outside of the UK.
If we are unable to find a suitable supplier, we will contact you to let you know as soon as possible.
Inter-library loan requests are now managed through Library Search and you no longer have to fill in the online form and e-mail it to us. We hope that this new process is much more convenient efficient than it was previously.
You can place an inter-library loan request by following a few simple steps.
Before you start, check your account to make sure that you have no overdue loans and your account is free of charges. You will need to clear these before your request can be approved
If the item is available to request, you will see a Request Inter-library Loan button in the Access options box on the right-hand side of the screen.
You should receive an automated acknowledgement to confirm your request has been received and is being reviewed. Your inter-library loan requests will also appear in the Requests tab of your Library Account.
If you already have the information to hand about the item you need, you can also request an inter-library loan directly from the Requests tab in your Library Account. However, you will have to complete all details manually, so we recommend going through Library Search whenever possible.
To create a request manually:
You can only have five active requests in the system at a time. Once you have reached this limit, you will be unable to submit further requests via the online form until at least one of your existing requests have been supplied (for copies) or returned (loans)
Your email address and contact information will be prefilled – you also have the option to leave a phone number.
Title information for your selected item should already be completed. You may want to check this before submitting the form.
You only need to complete the Extract details section if you are requesting a copy of an article or chapter/section contained within a longer work. For articles and some book chapters, this will be filled out automatically. However, in some cases, you will need to complete this section yourself.
If you know the page numbers of the article, chapter or extract, please provide them. You may find these details in the Library Search record for the item, or in the full reference for the resource.
Choose 'Loan' where you will be borrowing a physical item (i.e. a book). Choose 'Copy' where you are requesting an article or chapter/extract.
You will need to enter a Required before date before you will be able to submit your request. This should be the last date on which the item will be useful to you and not the date you would like the request to arrive.
From placing your request to it being ready for you to use or pick up from the Library, our standard waiting times are:
'Working days' are Monday to Friday and excluding Bank Holidays and days that the Library is unstaffed. Exceptionally, requests may be delayed because of closures at the library we are requesting the item from.
You will not be able to submit the form without checking the 'Copyright Acknowledged' box to conform you have read, understood and agree to the terms of the copyright declaration. If you do not understand the declaration or would like an explanation of anything in it, please contact us before submitting the form.