Inter-Library Loans

Library Search
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and changes to our services - All library buildings are now closed. The Library service remains open online.

Information on this page has been updated to reflect changes to services due to COVID-19.

Due to Covid-19 all Inter Library Loan requests will be free of charge.

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

If you want a photocopy posted to you, or if we need to obtain an item from overseas, 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

Due to Covid-19 all Inter Library Loan requests will be free of charge.

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

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