Skip to content

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. 

All students and academic staff at the University can request ILLs. Other members of the University should contact before submitting any requests.

Note: If you have any accessibility requirements, e.g. large print or screen-readable text, please contact

An alternative option to ILLs is to join the SCONUL Access Scheme and visit other member libraries. You can also visit the British Library at either Boston Spa or St. Pancras in London. Check 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.


Copyright restrictions

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

Firstly, all copies must be for private study and research ONLY and not for commercial use. If you require a copy 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 copy for yourself, or request as copies from Inter-Library Loans. 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 copied 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 copy 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.

Submitting a request

There is no charge for submitting an Inter-Library Loan request. However, we do ask that you consider carefully any request before submitting it, and ensure you are only requesting items essential to support your research and studies.

Before submitting a request

  • If the item you require is a book, then it will be considered for purchase rather than loan in the first instance. Please complete the Request an item for purchase form. The book will be reserved for you, and as soon as it is available you will receive an email notification. If you are a Distance Learner, the book will be posted out to you. If we cannot purchase the book, it will automatically be passed to the Inter-Library Loans team to try to borrow on your behalf.
  • You will not be able to make a request if you have library fines of more than £10.
  • Check the Library Catalogue to ensure we do not have the item. Requests for items we hold at the University will be returned to you without refund.

Submitting a request

  1. Choose the relevant form from our online request forms. Log in with your University username and password.
  2. Complete the request form with as many details as possible. 
  3. If you are on a distance learning programme, please enter this in the 'Distance Learner/Other Info' box. If you are a member of staff paying with a cost centre code, please enter the cost centre details in the 'Distance Learner/Other info' box.
  4. Read the copyright declaration, you agree to the terms by submitting the form. 

Note: Paper request forms are available from the Library Enquiry Desk as an alternative to completing the online form.

Tracking or cancelling a request

Tracking a request

An Inter-Library Loan request will appear on your library record, once it has been processed, as 'Awaiting Arrival'. Once it is received, this will change to 'Ready for Pickup' for paper books etc. to collect from the Library. The message will disappear if it is an electronic item that has been sent on to you.

We cannot guarantee how quickly you will receive a request. This depends on availability e.g. whether there is a waiting list; the number of institutions we have to approach to find a rare item; or if the item is coming from abroad.

For more detailed information on how your request is progressing contact

Cancelling a request

If you no longer need an item you have requested, please contact as soon as possible.

Note: If you do not cancel an unwanted request, you may be charged the full cost of supplying the item.

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.

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

Electronic items received from the British Library will be delivered to your University of Bradford email account usually by Secure Electronic Delivery (SED). To access the item you will need to create a British Library account and download it from there. Please see the Secure Electronic Delivery Guide below.

If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact our team. You can also read our Website Accessibility Statement.

Receiving and using requested items in paper copy

Loan items (books etc.)

Books etc. that are received in paper copy for you to borrow 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 for reference only.

  • Collecting/Viewing - You must collect the item from the library during staffed hours. Borrowable items will be issued to your library account. Reference items will remain as 'Ready for Pickup' on your library account and can only be viewed during staffed hours.
    Note: Non-collection of items will result in you being charged the full cost of the loan.  
  • Loan Periods - This is dictated by the institution we have borrowed the item from. This information will be attached to the item when you collect it.
    Note: Occasionally an item will be recalled by the lending institution, which is out of our control. We will notify you if this happens.
  • Renewals - To request a renewal you must contact at least 3 days before the item is due to be returned. We cannot guarantee that your request will be accepted by the lending institution.
    If the request is successful you will need to pay any charges the lending institution has for this service e.g. £5.25 for British Library items. It is Library policy not to request more than 5 renewals for an item.
    Note: If you need the item for longer but chose not to request a renewal, please be aware that we reserve the right to refuse to re-request an item sooner than 4 weeks after its return and/or if it was particularly costly/difficult to borrow initially.
  • Returns - Items must be returned at the library counter during staffed hours.
  • Overdue items - There is a fine of 50p per day up to a maximum of £50 per item on overdue items. If an item is returned late and we are charged a renewal fee by the lending institution, we will pass this charge onto you to pay.
  • Lost Items - Any charges we receive from the lending institution for a lost item will be passed on to you to pay e.g. 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.

Articles and chapters

If a document cannot to be supplied electronically, you will be emailed to collect the paper copy from the Library Enquiry Desk.

Note: Items can only be collected from the library during staffed hours.

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 this 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 an 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 for details.

International libraries

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

Contact Inter-Library Loans

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


Tel: 01274 233 301