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Inter-Library Loans

If there's a particular item you want but can't find in the Library Catalogue, you can request it using our inter-library loan service.

Our current service

Inter Library Loan (ILL) requests will be satisfied electronically where possible. Journal articles and book chapters will be emailed to your university email address as a PDF document. Books will be supplied either in e-book format or as a physical copy from another institution, depending on availability. Registered Accessibility Service users can request books in an accessible format.

Print ILL books can be returned via the Information Services desk in Fountains. Print ILL books borrowed before the lockdown can be returned using our book return box or by post. Please note there may be a small delay in returned ILL books being removed from your account.

Postal loans from the British Library

From May 2021 we are able to supply some book requests as print book loans from the British Library. These will be posted directly to the address provided in the request and should be returned directly to the British Library using the address label provided. You are responsible for paying the cost of return postage. If you are not able to pay this cost, you can return the book via the on-campus returns book box.

Return of British Library loans

We recommend returning British Library loans by recorded delivery and obtaining proof of postage. Without proof of postage, any loan lost in the post may incur a lost book charge in excess of £100.

The British Library normally charge £5 per book for renewal of loan items after the initial loan period.

To avoid being charged for renewal, we recommend posting British Library loans by the due date on your library account (1 week before the due date inside your British Library loan) to ensure they arrive in time. If returning via the Fountains Information Services desk, we recommend returning items 9 days before the British Library due date to account for processing and posting time. Registered Accessibility Services users are exempt from the £5 renewal charge and will receive free renewals.

Any questions?

Our Interlibrary Loan staff can be contacted via email on

Placing a request

Please allow at least two weeks for books to become available through ILL, as other libraries' supply times can vary.

You can make requests for any books, articles or other resources that we don't already hold in our collection, either directly via our form or whilst searching the Library Catalogue. Use of the inter-library loans service is free of charge and unlimited for most categories of students and staff members – however, please note that external borrowers and students on a short course (lasting three months or less) are ineligible for the inter-library loans service.

PhD theses may also be requested on inter-library loan. Whilst theses listed on EThOS are not currently available in the regular format, we're often able to request for digitisation on behalf of students.

Collecting requests

Physical items, such as books, will be made available for collection from the Service Desk on the Ground Floor of Fountains. Some books can be provided on loan in an ebook format, though this is dependent on availability and licensing restrictions.

Book chapters and journal articles can be sent directly to you, either electronically or by post - find out more about this service on our page on Electronic Delivery of ILLs.

Accessible PDFs of inter-library loan articles, chapters and books are available to all students registered for Accessibility Support – just select the delivery method 'Accessible PDF (suitable for screen readers)' when filling out your form, or add a note to your request detailing your requirements.

Contact us

If you have any queries about your inter-library loans, please call us on 01904 876 696, or email us at

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