Interlibrary Loans

Welcome to Inter-library Loans

An Inter-library Loan Service is available to all members of Oxford University, as well as to non-University members. This service seeks to provide access to material not held at the University. The Bodleian Libraries also supply their own material to other libraries and institutions.

Please check SOLO, Oxford Libraries' catalogue, before requesting an Inter-library Loan.

Having valid membership of Oxford University gives you access to all of the Bodleian Libraries. You can visit any of these libraries to view items for yourself.

Who can use the service?

The inter-library loan (ILL) service may be used by holders of a current Oxford University (blue) card and by holders of a Bodleian Libraries Readers' Card.

If you work for the NHS, please consult the Bodleian Health Care Libraries website.

How much does an inter-library loan cost?

Charges can be found here (opens in new window).

Holders of Oxford University cards are charged at a subsidised rate (Non-commercial members of OU).  Some libraries apply a limit to the number of requests that can be placed at this rate, e.g. the Bodleian Library has a maximum of 20 UK requests and 5 international requests per academic year. Further requests will be charged at the higher Non-commercial rate (Non-Members of OU).

Bodleian Libraries Reader's Card holders are charged at the Non-commercial, Non-Members of OU rate.  However, it may be cheaper to use the services of your own university or public library.

If you are making the request for commercial purposes the Commercial charges apply regardless of which card you hold.

Please note that the British Library increases its prices annually on 1st August and the Bodleian Libraries are obliged to increase our charges accordingly; however, the service remains heavily subsidised.

Will I get a refund if my request fails?

The fee for a standard request is non-refundable. If you place an urgent request which the British Library is unable to fulfil, the total fee will be refunded.

How does copyright affect my request?

UK copyright guidelines state that you may receive photocopies of:

  • one chapter or 5% of a book, whichever is greater
  • one article from an issue of a journal

If you require more than the prescribed limit you should ask to borrow the item instead. Copyright law still applies, so you will not be able to make copies yourself over the amount shown above.

If you receive your article by Secure Electronic Delivery, copyright law allows you to make a single paper copy of it. You are not permitted to save it in machine-readable format.

If the copy is for commercial purposes, it will be processed under a Copyright Cleared Service, meaning that there is an additional copyright fee which is set by the journal publisher.You can check the copyright fees for each journal on the British Library's catalogue (opens in new window).

How do I make a request?

You must complete an Inter-library Loan/Document Supply Request Form with the details of the item you require. Please ask a member of staff at the library for a form or you can print a PDF form here. Completed forms must be submitted in the library and full payment made before your request can be processed.

Please attach an item reference for your request where possible and ensure that you answer the question regarding commercial use and sign the copyright declarationif appropriate.

How can I make the payment?

You can pay in cash or by cheque at the Leopold Muller Memorial Library front desk. You can also pay online via the LMML online shop. Please remember to enter your Interlibrary Loan reference number in the payment form.  

How long does it take to receive the item that I have requested?

Straightforward requests for British Library material may take around 5 working days. More complex requests (where little information has been provided about the item being requested) may take longer.

Times vary for the delivery of articles and books from institutions other than the British Library. Requests made to other UK libraries may take two weeks or longer and requests submitted to international libraries may take several months.

Where do I consult the loan I have requested?

You can consult the loan in the reading room of the Leopold Muller Memorial Library.

Can I receive the item that I requested electronically?

Journal articles ordered from the British Library can be supplied directly using their Secure Electronic Delivery (SED) service. Please state on your request if this is required. Please note that restrictions on use apply to SEDs.

How long can I keep the item that I have requested?

Loan periods vary depending on the supplying library but are generally 6 weeks. If the loan is not recalled, it may be possible to renew it. The renewal charge is £4.45.

Photocopies are yours to keep.

SEDs are available to read and download over a 30 day period. They can be printed only once.

Can I borrow an item which has been lent by another library?

Most loans are for consultation within the library only.

Can I make photocopies from an interlibrary loan item?

Different restrictions on photocopying are imposed by libraries lending the items. All photocopying must be done within the UK Copyright guidelines. Some libraries insist on any photocopying being done only with permission, or by a staff-mediated service.  Ask your library for details.

What happens if the item is lost or damaged whilst I have it?

If an interlibrary loan item is lost or damaged whilst on loan to you, we will pass on to you the amount charged by the British Library for lost items, currently £152.70 (more will be charged if the item is more expensive to replace).

This charge does not mean you have purchased the item. If you subsequently find it, it must be returned and you may be entitled to a partial refund.

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