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Inter-Library Loans

If a book, journal article, thesis or conference paper isn't in our stock, we can usually get it for you from another library, generally the British Library.

Third year students, researchers, postgraduates and staff can all use the service, free of charge. 

In some cases first and second year students may be able to apply for material by Inter-Library Loan, but the request must first be authorised by their module tutor.

  • Request forms are available at all libraries - request and hand them in at the Helpdesk.
  • Online request forms for books and journal articles are also available below. Please note that these will print double-sided if you require more than one request form. You can fill them in online, but will need to print off a copy and send it to your chosen library. UK copyright laws mean that we cannot process requests until we receive a signed copy of the form.
  • Check all details are correct - it's important that you have an accurate note of the bibliographical details of your item - if not, your request may be delayed or returned to you. If you don't have some of the details, staff at the Helpdesk may be able to help you.
  • Don't forget to check the online catalogue and the Electronic Journals A-Z list first, to make sure that we don't already have access. 

Inter Library Loan Book request form

Inter Library Loan Journal request form

  • Students can have up to 10 Inter Library Loans at a time. 
  • Staff can have up to 40 at a time.

There is no yearly limit on requests. 

You should allow two weeks, although many requests are supplied more quickly than this. Delays may occur when:-

  • the first library cannot supply so we have to try elsewhere
  • the details you have given us prove to be incorrect or incomplete
  • it is not available in the UK.

If you have not heard anything about your request after two weeks, please check with the library where you placed the request.


  • Articles supplied by the British Library are delivered electronically to university email accounts - more details are available on the electronic article delivery page
  • Journal articles from other sources are posted directly to your preferred address and are yours to keep permanently.


  • When book requests arrive, we will send an email to your university email address - you must collect and return items at the site where you placed the request.
  • Some items may only be available to consult within the library- it depends on conditions set by the lender.

Usually, the loan period for books is 4 or 5 weeks, but this differs depending on the lending institution.

The item may be recalled if requested by the lender.

Fines of £1 per day are charged for overdue books. If items become very overdue or lost, the British Library will invoice you for the replacement cost of the item, plus a non-refundable administrative charge; currently, the BL minimum charge for lost items is at least £157 plus VAT.

It's not possible to renew online or by phone, you must return the item to the Helpdesk before the due date - we'll need to ask for the lender's permission first, and will email you to confirm, at which point you can come into the library to have it re-issued.

PhD theses are now available to all through the British Library EThOS service.