Interlibrary Requests: Frequently Asked Questions

Interlibrary Requests obtained within the UK are free of charge up to the following limit per year (limits run from 1st September - 31st August): 20 Interlibrary Requests for undergraduates, 50 requests for postgraduates, academic and research staff and 5 requests for associate members of staff. 

There are charges for obtaining a loan or photocopy of an article from abroad.  Details of these can be found on our Charges and loan periods page.

Please note, once the annual limit has been reached requests will be charged at the full rate of £18.00 for a loan and £12.00 for a photocopy.

Article requests take up to three working days to supply, depending on whether they are supplied electronically to your email address or a paper copy sent to your home address or collected from the Library. However, it may take longer if we are unable to source a copy from the British Library. Loan requests are usually supplied within ten working days, if held at the British Library or within two weeks if supplied by another university library.

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Automatic renewal of interlibrary loans online is not possible as the items are on loan from another library and they have different lending and renewal periods to other items on loan to you. Please contact Interlibrary Requests a few days before an item is due for return to see if a renewal is possible. It is usually possible to renew an interlibrary loan for more days, unless it has been recalled by the lending library. The renewal charge is £5. 

T 01273 678162

There is a fine of 50p per day, up to a maximum of £10 per item. If an item is more than 3 weeks overdue, an invoice will be raised for the replacement cost. The British Library currently charge £182.80 for lost items.

The following restrictions apply when requesting a copy of an extract from a published work:

  • only one article from a journal issue can be supplied
  • only one chapter from a book can be supplied
  • the copy can be used only for research for a non-commercial purpose or private study
  • the copy may not be further supplied to another person
  • the copy should not have previously been supplied to you
  • to the best of your knowledge, no other person with whom you work or study has made, or intends to make, at or about the same time as this request, a request for substantially the same material for substanitally the same purpose.

Through the Interlibrary network of lending libraries, we can obtain a wide range of material. However, some material such as pre-1890 publications, copies of print theses, material held in special collections and archives as well as material in high demand are not always available to lend. If this applies, we will contact you to let you know what options are available for accessing the material you have requested. 

Access to Theses: UK and abroad

Many doctoral theses are now available in full-text online, including through EThOS for UK doctoral theses and Proquest Dissertations and Theses for North American theses (1997 onwards). A small number of UK doctoral theses are still available to lend in hard copy from the institution of origin, so if not available on EThOS, a request can be made to obtain a loan through the Interlibrary Request service. A selection of pre-2001 North American theses are available to lend from the British Library Document Supply Centre on microfilm or microfiche. Additionally, some research libraries in the UK may also hold copies of North American doctoral theses in print and may be willing to lend.

Please see our Library Guide for further details regarding access to Theses and Dissertations.