Inter-Library Loans (ILL)

Please make sure your web ILL account is in credit before clicking the green button.

You can also make a request in person at the Service Desk.

If requesting a journal article see the section headed Secure Electronic Delivery before clicking on the green button.

Full details of ILL procedures are shown below.

If you have ILL credit submit a request

The library cannot keep all the books and journals you will need for projects and research. If you need an item which we do not have in stock, we can usually get it for you from another library.

Each request initially costs £1.50. There are additional charges if you require a photocopy to be posted to you, or if we need to obtain an item from overseas; you will be consulted before an overseas search takes place.

If you require a multi volume work you should complete one request per volume.

All students based in Singapore should contact to discuss their information needs, as the British Library inter-library loan scheme only operates within the UK.

Inter-Library Loan quotas:

  • undergraduates - 25 per year
  • postgraduates, staff and associates - 50 per year
  • external users should use the British Library’s On Demand Service or approach their local public library.

Before asking for an Inter-Library Loan

  • check Library Search (Newcastle University’s catalogue) - as many older items are held in the Research Reserve
  • for books please also check the Electronic Book Library (EBL) available via or Library Search. You will need to log in using your Campus ID. Any costs mentioned will be met by the Library.
  • check British Library catalogue. From the search results screen click Details.  Make sure you have the full bibliographical details and include the DSC shelf-mark.
  • for UK and international theses requests, please go to Finding and obtaining UK theses and dissertations
  • if a photocopy is required for commercial purposes an additional copyright fee must be paid (UK Copyright Law 2003). Please ask at the Desk to see a member of the Inter-Library Loan staff who will inform you of the appropriate copyright fee.

NB: if we subsequently find that the item is in stock you will not be able to claim a refund. 

How do I request an Inter-Library Loan?

Philip Robinson Library users: - collect an Inter-Library Loan form from the information point on Level 2 opposite the Service Desk. Once completed you should hand the form to staff at the Service Desk with the payment, during Desk opening hours.

Walton Library users: - collect an Inter-Library Loan form from the desk on production of your Smartcard and payment. Once completed you should hand the form back to staff at the Service Desk within the Walton Library.

Web Inter-Library Loan Service

Before you are able to submit a request you need to credit your account, minimum payment is £6 or 4 ILL tokens (if provided by your School). Each request normally costs £1.50.  There is no refund of credit added to an account. Credits will be added within three working days of receipt. However, if your intended use is likely to be minimal, i.e. less than four requests, you can obtain a paper form from the Library Service Desk.

To credit your account

  • phone the relevant library on weekdays between 9am-4.30pm. Philip Robinson Library users, Walton Library users. Payment will be accepted with a valid credit/debit card.
  • ask for an ILL credit form at the Main Desk, complete and hand to Library staff with payment or ILL tokens*.
  • ask a SAP budget holder to complete a SAP internal purchasing order to include your name, Smartcard Number (e.g. U11111111) and credit requirements (e.g. 10 web requests), and send email to or post to Finance Officer, Philip Robinson Library, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4HQ.
  • complete the ILL Web Credit Form [Word 14 kb] and send with a cheque or ILL tokens * to your usual library for Inter Library Loans.

* Some Newcastle University Schools provide ILL tokens to their students and staff. Schools can order token supplies via a SAP order form, which should be sent to the Finance Officer at the Philip Robinson Library.

To check your credit status

Use your Smartcard number and library password to login via Library Search. Click on My Account at the top of the screen and then click on Blocks and Messages.

To request an ILL item via the web

There are two templates to choose from when making requests:

  • one is for books, book chapters, conferences, conference papers, non UK PhD theses and reports.
  • the other is for journal articles and loan of journal parts.

Please ensure that you select the correct template.

Please add credit to your web ILL account before making an ILL request.

If you have ILL credit submit a request

Secure Electronic Delivery (SED) – FileOpen

Inter-Library Loan requests made for articles and book chapters are supplied via SED (Secure Electronic Delivery).

Before submitting your first Inter-Library Loan request you must check that you can open and read an SED document. Your computer should have Adobe Reader 4 (or above) installed, and the FileOpen plug-in

SED documents are sent via an email containing a link to a PDF of the article. For staff and students the link will be sent to your Newcastle University email account.

They can be:

  • opened more than once but only on the computer they were first opened on
  • accessed for up to 30 days
  • printed only once

Any attempt to access the document on another computer will fail due to digital copyright restrictions.

All University cluster machine allow you to open SED documents.

If you are off campus it is recommended that you use Outlook Web Access rather than using RAS (Remote Application Service) for printing SEDs. We also recommend that you don't use NUPrint to print SEDs.

Opening an SED on your pc

  • go to File Open and click the own PC link to download a FileOpen test document – this will display the FileOpen delivery page.
  • your document should open automatically in a few seconds, but if it does not, click the link below that to download it manually.
  • if Internet Explorer applies security settings, you may need to select Download File from the options on the pop up bar at the top of the screen.
  • once you allow the download, click on Open and the file should display on the screen indicating that you have successfully opened the test document.
  • please see additional instructions for MAC users.

Common problems

  • unable to open the test document on a school or departmental PC? The most likely cause is that the Fileopen Plug-in is not installed on your PC. You will need to contact your IT administrator who should be able to install this for you.
  • unable to open the test document on your own home PC or laptop? Go to FileOpen and download the plugin to your PC. Once you have downloaded the plug- in you can try the test document as described above.

Once you know that you can successfully open and view an SED document, then you may submit your Inter-Library Loan request.

If you have any queries regarding the service please contact us.

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