Interlibrary Loans and Document Supply

Student books

The Document Supply Team

About interlibrary loans

If material is not held in any Library Services library, we will endeavour to find a copy for you from elsewhere. Please confirm we do not hold the item already using FindIt@Bham in the first instance before placing a request. You can find instructions on placing a request on the online system below. 

We have already made some changes to this service to help support learning while access to physical resources is not possible - please see our FAQs for students and postgraduate researchers and staff for more information and for future updates.

If you need to order a Copyright Fee Paid article for teaching purposes, please contact the Document Supply Team on 0121 414 5821 or

Placing an interlibrary loan request

  1. Go to FindIt@Bham
  2. Login using your university account
  3. Perform a search to check that we don't already have a copy of the item
  4. Click the three dots in the top right-hand corner and select “InterLibrary Loan requests”
  5. Complete the form. Please note that at the moment we can only supply journal articles and book chapters.

After submitting your request, you will be able to view the details in your library account on FindIt@Bham. Your request will be processed by the Document Supply Team, who will get in touch with you if they need more information in order to action your request. You will receive an email informing you when a book is ready for collection or containing a link to an electronic version of an article.

If you need to order a Copyright Fee Paid article for teaching purposes, please contact the Document Supply Team on 0121 414 5821 or

Electronic theses online

Requests for most UK Doctoral dissertations should be made via EThOS, the service offered by the British Library. You should only place an interlibrary loan request for UK PhD thesis, if Ethos is unable to supply a copy. Please see for details of other UK & Eire Theses Access Policies.

Electronic articles

Journal articles that can be obtained from the British Library may be delivered to you in electronic format. Articles are supplied under the Library Privilege Service and incur no copyright fee but for this reason they cannot be stored electronically or forwarded to anyone else. The document may only be printed once.

The document will only be available to download for a period of 30 days and you should contact us if you unable to collect the article within this time.

To use this service, place your request using the Online Interlibrary Loan Requests Service or tick the 'Format Required' box on your interlibrary loan form and ensure you have included your University email address in the appropriate section. You will receive an email when the article is ready for you to download.

N.B. All items requested using the Online Interlibrary Loans Requesting Service will be delivered electronically unless you specifically request a paper copy.

To download articles you will need to register for British Library 'On Demand', a link will be sent with your article. You will need Adobe Reader version 10 or above on your device.  You should also download the British Library test document before attempting to download your article.

Delivery times for interlibrary loans

Where possible material is obtained from the British Library. Material requested from other institutions may take longer than the average to be delivered.

  • Articles can normally be obtained in 4 working days. Articles delivered via Electronic Delivery normally arrive within 2 days.
  • Books, conference proceedings and theses take on average 2-3 weeks.

It can take longer to locate a supply library for more obscure material as it may be necessary to apply to a series of libraries in turn. Material obtained from outside the UK can take much longer to locate. 

Please note: Some libraries decline to lend certain material they hold or may lend upon condition that that the material is consulted in the library as a reference only item.



Professional Services