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Covid-19 changes to Inter-Library Loans

We will continue to try and find items that are available electronically but please be prepared for a delay in delivery. We are unable to supply physical copies or scans from physical copies. Some libraries have closed their document supply services at this difficult time so our success rate will likely be reduced. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.

Note: We have suspended charges for making an Inter-Library Loan request until 31 May 2021. Charges for renewing items and lost items remain enforce where applicable.

About Inter-Library Loans

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

Please note: If the item you require is in book format, then it will be considered for purchase rather than loan in the first instance. In this case, please complete the Request an item for purchase form. Once the book has been acquired it will be placed on the Reservation shelves for you to collect (you will receive an email notification when it is ready for you to borrow). In the case of Distance Learners, the book will be posted out to your given address. If it is not possible to purchase the book, then it will automatically be passed to the Inter-Library Loans team to try to borrow on your behalf.

  • Students and academic staff at the University can request ILLs.
  • Other members of the University please contact Inter-Library Loans before submitting any requests.
  • If you have any accessibility requirements, such as large print or screen-readable text, please contact the Library's Disability Service.



British Library accounts for electronic ILL items

If you are placing a request for a journal article, this will sometimes be delivered to you electronically from the British Library. In this instance 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 email address to set up your account, otherwise the electronic transfer of the document will not work. You only need to do this once, then you will be able to login to access any future documents supplied to you.

Please note: Requests should still be made via the Library, not direct with this 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. This fee must be paid within 5 working days of submitting an online request or at the time you hand in a paper request.

Note: Staff and postgraduate research students may wish to pay for ILL request fees from bench fees or departmental funds. It is essential that your account is credited in advance of any request being made. Please send (or ask your supervisor to send) the following information to 

Staff departmental funds

Please ensure that you use the cost centre to be used for payment in your ILL request.

Student bench fees

Bench fees are added to your student printing account and can be used for inter-library loans. If there are insufficient funds in your printing account, please discuss with your Supervisor. We can add additional funds to your printing account if your Supervisor sends the following information to It is essential that your account is credited in advance of any request being made. 

  • Your UB number.
  • The fund code to be used.
  • The amount of credit required. You may choose to request more credit than you need in the first instance to cover further requests.    

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 are not infringed. The proportion of a book, journal, conference proceeding etc. that may be photocopied and/or requested/downloaded is restricted to whichever is the greater of:

  • Up to 10% or one chapter of a book.
  • Up to 10% or one article of a journal issue.
  • Up to 10% or one paper of one set of conference proceedings.
  • Up to 10% or one case of one report of judicial proceedings.
  • Up to 10% 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 items online

  1. Ensure you have checked that we do not hold the item already via 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. Failure to pay within 5 working days will result in the cancellation of your request. 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.

Requesting with a paper form

Request forms are also available in print format from library counter. 

  1. Complete a request form as above and ensure you have read and signed the copyright declaration on the back.
  2. Choose whether you want to pay the £2 cost in cash or have it deducted from your printing/copying account and tick the relevant box on the form.
  3. Hand your form into the member of staff at the Library Counter with your chosen payment method.

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, you will be emailed to collect it from the Library Counter.

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: Inter-Library Loans can only be collected during staffed hours.

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 of Bradford email account, and is usually supplied by Secure Electronic Delivery (SED) from the British Library. Please note, to access it you will need to create a British Library account and download it from that. Please see the Secure Electronic Delivery Guide below.

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).

Electronic articles received from other institutions will be sent directly to your University email address for you to access.

Secure Electronic Delivery (SED) guide

If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact our team.

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 several days 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 £5.25. Other institutions' charges vary. We have a policy of limiting renewal requests to a maximum of 5 times.

Loans of books are heavily subsidised. In order to avoid unnecessary costs, we ask Inter-Library Loans users to consider carefully when returning a loan. We ask users to renew an item instead, if they need further time to consult it rather than requesting it again later. 

Also, we will not re-request an item for a user within 4 weeks of its return. This will 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.

Overdue items

Overdue items are charged at 50p per day up to a maximum of £30 per item. If items are returned late we risk being charge a renewal rate by the lending institution, and we would pass that charge onto yourself if incurred.

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 even if the item is subsequently found and returned.

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: If you require a thesis, please request via the British Library's EThOS service. We are unable to lend physical copies.


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 - £17.20.
  • Article scanned from print with electronic delivery - £15.40.
  • Article in .pdf format with electronic delivery - £6.54.

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.

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