Information Services

Interlibrary Loans

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

Service Update: February 2022

Library users are now able to place interlibrary loan requests for physical items, in addition to the existing digital service for articles and chapters. This is limited to University of Edinburgh students, staff, official visitors and NHS Lothian staff.

Please note that some physical items may still be difficult to obtain due to the ongoing 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.


Requesting from other University of Edinburgh library sites

Requesting from other University of Edinburgh Library sites is not currently available while Library staff resume full service provision following Covid-19 restrictions and the implementation of a new Interlibrary Loans system. 

Requests for borrowing physical items can only currently be placed on items held at the University Collections Facility or items on loan to another user


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 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