Inter-Library Loans

The Inter-Library Loans (ILL) service aims to obtain items which are not held in the University of Bradford libraries and are required to support your studies or research. 

  • Students and academic staff at the University can request ILLs.
  • Other members of the University please contact Inter-Library Loans before submitting any requests.
  • Distance learners wanting loans of items in stock should make requests via the postal loan request service.  For other items please use the Online requesting service in "Submitting a request" section of this page.
  • If you have any accessibility requirements, such as large print or screen-readable text, please contact the Library's Disability Service.

 Note: This service is subsidised by the Library, however a small contribution is applicable for ILL requests. Other ILL charges may apply.

Students and Staff may also submit a request for an item to be purchased for the library.


British Library accounts for electronic ILL items

If you are an Inter-Library Loan user you need to set up an account with the British Library. This is a straightforward process and should not take long. Please use your University of Bradford Office 365 email address to set up your account, otherwise the details will not match our requests. You only need to do this once, then you will be able to login to access any documents supplied to you. This will make accessing British Library documents quicker and easier, and you will be able to access them on multiple devices.

NB: Requests should still be made via the Library, not direct with the British Library.


Submitting a request


The Inter-Library Loans service is heavily subsidised by the University of Bradford Library. To use this service a small contribution of £2.00 towards the cost is charged.

Note: This fee may only be refundable if we are unable to supply the requested item.

Copyright restrictions

There are copyright restrictions on what can be supplied via Inter-Library Loans.

Firstly all photocopies must be for private study and research ONLY and not for commercial use. If you require a photocopy which is to be used for commercial purposes then you must say so at the time of request as this requires us to obtain a copyright cleared copy for you. Extra charges will then apply.

Even if requesting for private research and study there are still limitations as to what you are allowed to photocopy for yourself, or request as photocopies from ILL. These restrictions ensure that private research and study is enabled, however the intellectual property rights of the copyright owner is not infringed. The proportion of a book, journal, conference proceeding etc. that may be photocopied is restricted to whichever is the greater of:

  • Up to 5% or one chapter of a book.
  • Up to 5% or one article of a journal issue.
  • Up to 5% or one paper of one set of conference proceedings.
  • Up to 5% or one case of one report of judicial proceedings.
  • Up to 5% of an anthology of short stories or poems or one short story or one poem of not more than 10 pages.

Also, you must ensure that you do not request a copy of the SAME paper on more than one occasion. You must not supply the photocopy to any other person. You also must not request the same material, at the same time, for the same purpose as a colleague or another person who you are working with.

These restrictions are all part of Copyright Law and must be adhered to.

Requesting with a paper form

Request forms are available at either library counter or can be downloaded from the bottom of this page.

  1. Ensure you have checked the library catalogue. If the item is found to be available at the University your request will be returned without refund.
  2. Complete a request form and ensure you have:
    • Read and signed the copyright declaration on the back.
    • Selected an alternative format in case the item cannot be supplied electronically.
    • Selected which library you want to collect the item from.
  3. Submit the completed form with payment to either of the University libraries.

Requesting items online

  1. Ensure you have checked the library catalogue. If the item is found to be available at the University your request will be returned without refund.
  2. Choose the relevant form from our online request forms, then sign in using your UB or staff number, and Library PIN.
  3. Complete the request form with as many details as possible. 
  4. If you are on a distance learning programme, please say so in the '*Distance Learner/Other Info' box.
  5. Read the copyright declaration, by submitting the form you agree to this.
  6. Submit the form.
  7. Please be aware that by submitting the form you agree to a charge of £2.00 being deducted from your printing/copying account.  Please make sure you have funds in your account to cover this charge. If you don't have enough funds your request will not be processed. Also be aware that if you owe more than £5.00 on your record you will not be able to borrow or renew books, or request Inter-Library Loan items.

Please see the Fines and web payments page for information on how to pay into your printing/copying account.

Submitting a request electronically is not faster than submitting a paper form. Once the request is received it is processed the same way as a paper form submission.


How do I track the progress of my request?

Inter-Library Loan requests will show on your library record once they have been processed. They will show as 'Awaiting Arrival' until they are received, then the record will change, depending on the type of item requested. Book requests will change to 'Ready for Pickup', article/chapter/paper requests will disappear once they have been received and sent to you.

For more detailed information on how your request is progressing, contact Inter-Library Loans.

There is no way to guarantee how quickly you will receive a requested item. It depends on its availability at other institutions e.g. there may be a waiting list, a number of institutions may have to be approached to find a rare item or it may have to travel from another country.

Cancelling requests

If you no longer need an item you have requested via Inter-Library Loans, please let us know as soon as possible.  You can do this by phone, email or in person at the library counter, contact details are at the bottom of this page.

If you do not cancel a request which you do not need you may be charged the full cost of supplying the item.

Receiving requested items in hard copy

Articles and chapters

If a document is unable to be supplied electronically, they can be sent directly to you at your contact address or to your department.

You should select your preferred delivery method when you submit a request.

If you prefer a copy to be sent to your contact address, the details will be taken from e-vision.  It is therefore important that you keep this address information up to date and accurate.

Loan items (books etc.)

Items received in hard copy will appear as ‘Ready for Pickup’ on your library record. You will receive an email to tell you that it has arrived and if it can be borrowed or is reference only. The item can then be collected from the library. Items borrowed will then display on your library account with other items issued to you. Reference items will remain as ‘Ready for Pickup’.  Please note that Inter-Library Loan items need to be collected from the library counter so are only available during the hours that the counter is staffed; see the Opening Hours webpage for more information.

Note: Non-collection of items will result in you being charged the full cost of the loan.

Receiving a requested item electronically

When Inter-Library Loans have been informed that an electronic copy has been supplied; the request information will be removed from your library record. The item will be delivered to your university Office 365 account and is usually supplied by Secure Electronic Delivery (SED). Download the help sheet from the bottom of the page.

If an item supplied from the British Library via SED has to be re-requested due to reader error within the 30 day access period, we reserve the right to charge again for it. If it has to be re-requested after its 30-day access period we may charge the full cost of the request (approximately £10.00).

Loan periods

How long the item is available for you to borrow or view (reference items) is dictated by the institution we have borrowed it from. This information will be attached to the item when you collect it.

Note: Occasionally an item will be recalled by the institution that lent it, which is out of our control. We will notify you if this is ever the case.


Most lenders will allow items to be renewed, as long as they are not in high demand. Contact Inter-Library Loans before the item is due back to arrange this. You will need to pay any charges associated with the renewal e.g. the British Library renewal charge is £4.50. Other institutions' charges vary.

Loans of books are heavily subsidised so in order to avoid incurring unnecessary costs we ask that users of Inter-Library Loans consider carefully when returning a loan and ask to renew an item if they need further time to consult it rather than re-requesting it later. 

Also we will not re-request an item for a user within 4 weeks of its return to allow the lender time to process it and ensure that their own users do not need it.

We reserve the right to refuse to re-request an item soon after its return and/or if it was particularly costly/difficult to borrow initially.


Items should be returned at the library counter during staffed hours. Outside of staffed hours items should be returned to the external book chute near the front of the Student Central building.

Please consider carefully whether you have finished with a book before returning it.  If you wish to renew it please refer to the information under the “Renewals” heading.

Overdue items

Overdue items are charged at 50p per day up to a maximum of £30 per item.

Lost items

You will pay any charge levied by the lending institution for a lost item.

The British Library charges £199.44 which includes a non-refundable administration fee of £99.72.

Services for other UK and international libraries

Most of our stock is available for loan or photocopying (subject to copyright law).

UK libraries

We accept requests from all UK libraries with a British Library account. Email or post your request including both your British Library account number and request number.

Note: Theses are only available via the  or through the British Library's EThOS service.


Our charges are the same as the British Library or CONARLS for institutions with a British library account. If you do not have a British Library account, the charges are:

  • Book - £14.65
  • Photocopy - £9.10 + VAT
  • Pdf - £5.20 + VAT

Payment is by invoice, credit (MasterCard/Visa) or debit card. Contact Inter-Library Loans for details.

International libraries

We accept requests from international libraries. Payment may be made by IFLA voucher, invoice or credit card. Contact Inter-Library Loans for details.

Secure Electronic Delivery (SED) guide

Access to other libraries

An alternative option to ILLs is to join the SCONUL Access scheme to visit other member libraries. Please see the SCONUL webpages for more information.

You can also visit the British Library at either St. Pancras in London or Boston Spa. You can access the British Library's catalogue to make sure they have what you want before visiting. Further information can be found on the British Library's webpages.

Contact Inter-Library Loans

JB Priestley Library
University of Bradford, Richmond Road
Bradford BD7 1DP


Tel: 01274 233 301