Borrowing and related services

Borrowing from other libraries

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If you can’t find the materials you are looking for within UWL collections, you can request them by inter-library loan (ILL) here:

Need help accessing your inter-library loan article? Jump to our troubleshooting section.

You can borrow:

  • Students: 30 per year
  • UWL staff and research students: 50 per year

Requests from borrowers who have overdue charges on their Library Account, or who have overdue items, cannot be processed.

Requests above your allocation will incur a non-refundable charge based on the prices below.  

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How much does it cost?

UWL provides this service for free. Actual costs for 2018-19 are as follows:

  • £5.70 e-copy from digital copy
  • £11.45 e-copy from print copy
  • £12.95 print copy by mail
  • £16.75 book loan

How long does it take?

Supply times for items can take between one to three weeks depending on availability, although article requests often arrive sooner.
We advise that items are requested at least two weeks before you require them.

How long can they be kept?

Articles are yours to keep.

Books may be kept for up to six weeks, depending on the supplying library.


Renewals are not always available and may incur charges (£5.10 per item in 2018/19. Prices increase every August.) 

Please contact us well in advance of your return date if you wish to renew. 

Loans may not be supplied again within two months of return.

Items returned late may incur additional charges.

Loss of an ILL

The British Library charges a fee of at least £174.50 (plus VAT) for lost items, including a non-returnable administration charge of £87.25 (plus VAT). This charge will be passed on to the requester.

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You will need Adobe Reader to open article PDFs. This should be available on all university PCs. For your own use, it is free and can be downloaded here:

Please contact us for any enquiries regarding Inter-Library Loans.

Creating a British Library Account

Many article requests come to you direct from the British Library. To access them, you will need to have a British Library account. If you have any trouble with creating your account, you can refer to the step-by-step video guide below. 

Note: this video is silent.

You can also down load PDF versions of this guide.

Download the full guide (pdf, 2.29 mb)

Download a text only version (pdf, 99 kb)

If you need additional help please contact

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Before placing an ILL request

Please consider trying the following search options:

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Information for other libraries 

We are happy to supply material to other libraries. Please email us with your request details and your British Library account number. 

Loans are made on the following conditions:  

  • Items are normally loaned for a 5 week period. 
  • Renewals will be considered upon request but cannot be guaranteed, and all items are subject to recall. 
  • During term time, we are not normally able to lend books that are on a reading list, or are short-term loan items. However, all last-resort requests will be considered. 
  • We are happy to lend CDs, DVDs, and music scores. 
  • We can supply electronic copies of material for personal study (within copyright restrictions). 
  • Theses, reference-only, and restricted loan items are not available for interlibrary lending. 
  • Loans and renewals are charged at British Library rates. 

We are a member of the NULJ scheme.

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Email us:

Call us: 020 8231 2405 (Ealing) or 020 8209 4434 (Reading, Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)