Information Services

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.

Delivery of Interlibrary Loans

Journal articles are usually supplied either as a photocopy sent directly to your chosen contact address, or as an electronic copy. If an electronic copy has been supplied, we will post it onto your ILLiad record where you will be able to view it for 30 days. Most libraries do not lend journal parts or volumes.

Loaned items (e.g. physical books or microfilms) will be delivered to the library you chose on your ILLiad registration. Usually, you can borrow the items for use outside the library. In some cases, the lending library has stipulated that the material must be consulted within the Library, in a secure area. This applies particularly if the material is rare or vulnerable. For users of the Main Library, all "library use only" material is held within the Centre for Research Collections on the 6th floor of the library, and must be consulted there.

Electronic Document Delivery

Many journal articles are delivered to the library in an electronic format, thereby making the delivery process quicker. These articles are then placed on your ILLiad record. Each time you are sent an article in this way, you will receive an email notification. To access the article, log in to your ILLiad record, and on the Main Menu, select "Electronically Received Articles". Each article remains accessible for 30 days, after which it is automatically removed from the server. Please note that ILL staff are also unable to recover the article for you after the 30 day limit.

Loan period

Loan periods are at the discretion of the lending library, but are generally 4-6 weeks. There may also be an opportunity to request an extension of the loan period.

Printed photocopies and scans provided via ILL are yours to keep.


If you would like to keep your ILL for longer than the initial loan period, please do so through your ILLiad record. Select the item you wish to renew and press the "Renew" button. Please note, however, that if your book is overdue, this method will not be possible. Also, you will not be able to request a renewal online more than a week before the due date. In these cases, please contact your own site library.

You may request up to 2 renewals per item. However they are at the discretion of the lending library, so there is no guarantee that they will be permitted. Most lenders do not charge for renewals. However, any additional charges will be passed on to the borrower.

Please note, each renewal for which the Library has been charged will count as a single request from the quota of free ILLs.


If you receive a recall, i.e. if you are asked to return an ILL item, please return it immediately to the Help Desk at the Library site from which you collected it.

Lost Items

The Library is charged for ILLs lost by our readers. We pass on that charge, plus any administration costs, to the reader.

For example, the British Library imposes a minimum charge of £182.80 +VAT for lost items. Other lending libraries may have a similar charging structure.