Inter-Library Loans

Our Inter-Library Loans service can attempt to obtain both loans of items and photocopies from other libraries in the UK and worldwide, when the material required is not held in an Oxford library.

This service is available to all University and Bodleian Reader card holders.

Placing a request

Before placing a request, check SOLO thoroughly to make sure an Oxford library does not hold the material you need. Staff will be happy to assist with any questions.

Requests are placed using the online inter-library loan request form. You will be asked to log in with your Single Sign-On (SSO) or Bodleian Libraries account details. Your contact details will be automatically imported. Please complete the form with as much information as possible to help our team locate the item in other libraries.

You may request:

  • physical loans to be sent to a participating library of your choice
  • journal articles
  • book chapters

We can process one request per reader per working day.

This service is free of charge to Oxford University users and NHS staff. There is a charge for requests for other users.

Copies of articles and chapters will be supplied to you in electronic format wherever possible, but please note that we will sometimes need to send copies to you in paper format.

You may request paper copies, rather than electronic delivery, by selecting this option in the request form. Copies supplied in paper format will be sent to the address in your reader record.

Copyright restrictions

When placing a request, you must agree to the copyright declaration. UK copyright guidelines state that you may receive copies 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 over the amount shown above.

Supplying libraries may impose different restrictions on copying from items. Some libraries insist on any copying being done only with permission, or by a staff-mediated service.

Prices and payment

Once your request has been submitted you will receive a confirmation email. If applicable, a charge will be deducted from your PCAS account.

This service is free of charge to Oxford University users and NHS staff.

Bodleian Reader card holders are charged a non-subsidized rate and it may be cheaper to use the services of your own university or public library.

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

Standard UK requests

Request Non-OU (non-commercial) Commercial requests
Photocopy by email  £15.95 £15.95* 
Photocopy by post  £15.95 £15.95 (+ copyright fee)
Loan  £15.95 £15.95
Renewal of loan  £4.75 £4.75


International requests

Request Non-OU (non-commercial) Commercial requests
Photocopy £68.05 £68.05
Loan £72.50 £72.50

*plus copyright fee and VAT at 20%.

If other charges apply, e.g. for requests that need to be sourced abroad, staff will contact you to discuss. You will not be charged if the item is not supplied.


If we are unable to find a library willing to lend or provide a copy of a requested item, any charges taken will be refunded to your PCAS account.

Receiving your request

Your request can be tracked in the ‘Requests’ tab of My SOLO. You will receive an email when your item is ready for collection.

Physical items

Physical items will be delivered to your library of choice, as selected from the destinations listed in the online form. Destinations may need to be changed depending on instructions from the library supplying the item. If this is the case, you will be advised accordingly in advance of the item’s arrival.

You will receive an email when your item is ready for consultation.

Copies of articles or chapters

Copies of articles or chapters will be sent to you directly by email where possible, or, if obtained via the British Library’s Secure Electronic Delivery service, can be accessed via the link that you will receive in an email from them.

First-time users of the British Library’s service will need to register for an account, and instructions for registering and downloading will be contained in the British Library’s email.

Delivery times

Straightforward requests for British Library material usually take around 10 working days. If a large number of requests are submitted, you can expect staggered delivery beyond the estimated 10 working days.

Delivery times vary for materials from institutions other than the British Library. Requests made to other UK libraries may take two weeks or longer. Requests submitted to international libraries may take several months.

Loan periods

Most loans are for consultation within the library only, but depending on the delivery destination that you have selected, if the supplier permits lending you may be able borrow the item. Please consult library staff.

Loan periods vary – although the British Library generally provides loans for 6 weeks from point of despatch, loan periods from other libraries may be shorter.

If requested by the lending library, your inter-library loan may be subject to an immediate recall. If the loan is not recalled, it may be possible to renew it. The renewal charge is £4.75.

Photocopies are yours to keep. Electronic copies supplied by the British Library must be accessed within 30 days. Once downloaded, they will be accessible for three years.

Lost or damaged items

If an inter-library 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 £182.20. More will be charged if the item is more expensive to replace.

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


If you have a query about this service, contact the Inter-Library Loans department. 

Telephone: +44 (0)1865 277069 

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