Inter-library requests

Our inter-library requests service (also known as inter-library loans) can attempt to obtain both loans of items and scans 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.

You can place your request on SOLO via the 'Need more?' link at the top of the page. You'll need 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

Each reader may have up to 5 active requests. This limit helps us to maintain a high standard of service to all readers. After you have finished consulting print items, or once digital items have been sent to you, you'll be able to place further requests within this limit.

We’ll supply copies of articles and chapters in electronic format wherever possible, but please note that we'll sometimes need to send copies to you in paper format. We'll send these to the college or departmental address in your reader record.

Copyright restrictions

When placing a request, you must agree to the copyright declaration on the request form.

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 won't 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

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

Bodleian Reader card holders are charged a non-subsidised rate, and it may be cheaper to use the services of your own university or public library. Payments for requests will be added to your library account. Charges will be added on delivery of the item. Payments should be made via Oxford University Stores Online. Once payment has been received, charges will be removed from your account.

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

Standard UK requests

Request Non-Oxford University (non-commercial) Commercial requests
Scan by email  £15.95 £15.95* 
Loan  £15.95 £15.95
Renewal of loan  £4.75 £4.75


International requests

Request Non-Oxford University (non-commercial) Commercial requests
Photocopy or scan £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.

Receiving your request

Your request can be tracked in the ‘Requests’ tab of My SOLO.

Physical items

Physical items will be delivered to your library of choice, as selected from the destinations listed in the online form. Please note: items borrowed from institutions outside the UK can only be used in the Bodleian Old Library.

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 ahead of the item’s arrival.

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

You can only receive the same physical item on two separate occasions. If you need more time to consult an item, please contact the ILL team about the possibility of a renewal.

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

Requests for loans of material from UK libraries may take 1–2 weeks. If we need to obtain the item from a library outside of the UK, this may take 2–6 weeks. 

Straightforward requests for scans may be delivered within 24 hours. To help speed up processing, please provide as much detail as you can about the item (such as the ISBN or ISSN number). More complex scan requests may take 2–3 weeks. 

Loan periods

Most loans are for consultation within the library only. However, 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. The British Library generally provides loans for 6 weeks from the date 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.

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 3 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 £214.30. 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 Requests department. 

Telephone: +44 (0)1865 277069 

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