Inter-Library Loans (ILL)

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

Submit a request

If you need an item which we do not have in stock, we can usually get it for you from another library.

Each request 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.

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

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

Web Inter-Library Loan Service

Before you are able to submit a request you need to credit your account. Minimum payment is £1.50 or 1 ILL token. There is no refund of credit added to an account. Credits will be added within three working days of receipt.

To credit your account

  • phone the relevant library during Service Desk hours. 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 it 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 and send with a cheque or ILL tokens to your usual library for Inter Library Loans.

To check your credit status

Use your Campus ID and 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.

Submit a request

Requesting Inter-Library Loan articles and book chapters using DRM Lite

DRM Lite is a new electronic delivery method which allows the British Library to supply secure encrypted documents. This replaces the previous FileOpen system.

To use the service you need to:

  • register with British Library’s On Demand Service

  • do not use the @ symbol in your username as this can cause requested documents to fail to open.

  • wait 5 minutes before opening your first document.

  • access your documents with your registered username and password using Adobe Reader X or above.

  • have access to a printer.

The document is locked to a user rather than a machine, meaning it can be viewed on any machine including mobile devices.

How do I open a document using DRM Lite?

  • a link to the document is delivered by email; the link will take you to the download page.

  • click on the link to download, and then click Download your document.

  • if your document does not immediately display, open Adobe Reader X (or above).

  • navigate to the file in your Downloads folder on your H: drive, then find and open the document.

  • you will be asked to enter your British Library user name and password.

  • the document will open.

Documents can be:
  • downloaded.
  • printed only once.
  • accessed for 30 days.
  • viewed for up to three years if downloaded.

These changes by the British Library mean that opening Inter-Library Loan PDFs with an Internet Browser will no longer work.

Further help

See the British Library DRM Lite Guidelines.

If you have any queries regarding the service please contact

Request forms

If your intended use of inter-library loans is likely to be minimal you can obtain a paper request form from the service desk:

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.

N.B. 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.

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