Information Services

Interlibrary Loans

The following pages provide full details of our Interlibrary Loans service.

Important Service Update

Please note that the requesting of all Interlibrary Loans material (physical and digital) has been temporarily disabled for the festive period. We will attempt to fulfil all requests placed before Monday 14th December by 5pm on Friday 18th December, but books and articles may not be delivered until January 2021. Requesting will resume on 5th January 2021. 

As part of a phased re-opening of Library services we are now re-introducing the request of physical books through Interlibrary Loans. This service is in addition to the ongoing Interlibrary Loans digital service. Please note that the ILL service is restricted to University of Edinburgh students, staff, official visitors and NHS Lothian staff. It is not currently possible to join the library or renew memberships under any other category. It may take significantly longer to process requests at this time and physical items may be difficult to obtain due to the restrictions in place at other libraries in response to COVID-19.

No fines will accrue on items issued prior to the lockdown period and users will not be fined for the late return of items due to Library closures.


Return of Interlibrary Loans

University of Edinburgh library users: You may return your ILL items to the Main Library using the book returns machine in the entrance area, or to the site library from where your ILL request was collected. Please note that returned items will not be removed from your ILL account immediately and may still show as on loan to you after being returned.

Other libraries outside of the University of Edinburgh: Books loaned as Interlibrary Loans before the COVID-19 outbreak may be returned. Please note that returns may not  be opened immediately after being returned to the library. 


About Interlibrary Loans

The Interlibrary Loan service (ILL) is one way to obtain material which is not held by the University of Edinburgh.

Request an Interlibrary Loan

A guide to using DiscoverEd for requesting and tracking Interlibrary Loan materials using your Library Account.

Paying for Interlibrary Loans

Details of how much it costs to use the service and how to pay for requests.

Delivery of Interlibrary Loans

Details of how to obtain your ILL, loan periods, renewals and recalls, and what to do if an item is lost.

Copyright and Interlibrary Loans

Information on copyright restrictions and requesting Interlibrary loans for commercial purposes.

Interlibrary Loans service for external users

ILL services can be provided for registered library borrowers who are not members of the University and for external institutions.

Interlibrary Loans service alerts

Any alerts about the ILL service will appear here.

Help and support

Contact the ILL Team for further help and advice.

Related Links

University Collections Facility