Inter-Library Loans

Library Search

The Inter-Library Loans (ILL) service allows staff and students to obtain material not held by the Library.

Each request costs £1.50. If you want a photocopy posted to you, or if we need to obtain an item from overseas, additional charges will apply; we will consult you before an overseas search takes place.

For multi-volume works, please 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

Crediting your ILL account for web requests

Before you are can submit an ILL web request, you must credit your account. Minimum payment is £1.50 or one ILL token. There is no refund of credit added to an account. We will add credits within three working days of receipt.

To credit your account:

  • phone the relevant library. Philip Robinson Library users, Walton Library users, during Service Desk hours to make payment with a credit or debit card.
  • ask for an ILL credit form at the Main Desk, complete and hand it to Library staff with payment or ILL tokens.
  • download, print and complete the ILL Web Credit Form and send it with a cheque or ILL tokens to your usual library for Inter Library Loans.
  • ask a SAP budget holder to complete a SAP internal purchasing order to include your name, Smartcard Number (e.g. U12345678), credit requirements (e.g. 10 web requests), and send by email to

Checking your ILL credit

  1. Login to Library Search using your Campus ID and Password.
  2. Click My Account at the top of the screen and then click Blocks and Messages.
  3. If you have credit a message will tell you how much, as can be seen from the screenshot below.
  4. If you do not have credit follow the instructions "Crediting your ILL account for web requests" above.
Screenshot from Library Search

To request an ILL item via the web

There are two templates to choose from when making requests:

  1. For books, book chapters, conferences, conference papers, non UK PhD theses and reports.
  2. For journal articles and loan of journal parts.

Please ensure that you select the correct template.

You must have credit on your web ILL account before making an ILL request.

Submit a request


Requesting ILL articles and book chapters using DRM Lite

DRM Lite is an electronic delivery method, which allows the British Library to supply secure encrypted documents.

To use the service you need to:

  • 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, so can be viewed on any machine including mobile devices.

Opening 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 links to Download your document.

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

  • navigate to the file in your Downloads folder.

  • enter your British Library user name and password to open the document.

  • the document will open.

Documents can be:

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

Opening PDFs with an Internet Browser will not 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 purchase an ILL request form from the Service Desk on production of your Smartcard and payment of £1.50. Once completed you should hand the form back to staff at the Service Desk during desk opening hours.

Philip Robinson Library users opening hours.

Walton Library users opening hours

Students making book requests, should use the Books on Time service.

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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