Accessibility statement

Interlending and Document Supply Service

Interlending during the coronavirus outbreak

Our interlending service is still available. Requests are likely to take longer than normal due to the British Library and other library services being impacted by the pandemic. We will do our best to source the material you need electronically, but if we are unable to supply the item in any format we will let you know. If you have any concerns about obtaining the material that you need please contact your department’s Academic Liaison Librarian. You can find their contact details on your department’s Subject Guide.

If you already have interlending items from other libraries and you are still using them, please renew these using your Library Account. If you have finished with them they can be returned in person at the Morrell or King's Manor Library. If you would prefer not to visit in person, you are welcome to return your books in the post free of charge using our Royal Mail Tracked Returns service. If the lending library recalls your item and you're not able to return it, please contact us via 

If the resource you need for your research is not held in the Library, you can make an interlibrary loan request through our Interlending and Document Supply (ILDS) Service.

We will try and source your material from the British Library or other UK institutions, and where necessary from overseas institutions.

Sometimes this isn't possible (eg recently published books) and we may attempt to purchase a copy. If we do this, we will email you when the book becomes available.

If you request an article or chapter and it is supplied from the British Library, please see the following information for details on creating and activating your account:

Before making a request

  • Check YorSearch
  • Check our E-resources guide
  • There is no limit to the number of requests you can make, but bear in mind that the service is expensive for the library, so please try to be selective and use it responsibly.
  • Before requesting an item, please make sure that it is the correct source and is relevant to your studies. Google Books and Google Scholar may be helpful.

If you are doing a project and expect to place more than 15 article requests (eg for a systematic review), please contact us in advance via as there may be a better method for submitting your requests.

What can you request?

Books and chapters from books

  • Each individual volume/chapter counts as one request.
  • Loan periods vary according to the rules of the lending library and level of demand.
  • Loans may be requested for return before the end of the loan period, even during vacations.
  • Some items may be available but are restricted to use in the Library only, however we will always attempt to source a copy available for home use.
  • Under the terms of the UK Copyright Designs and Patents Act, only one chapter per book can be copied.
  • If you require more than one chapter from the same book, please ask for a loan of the book.
  • If you request a book chapter only, it will be supplied as an electronic document, and if this is not possible as a photocopy for you to keep.

Journals and conference papers

  • Under the terms of the UK Copyright Designs and Patents Act, we can only supply a copy of one article from a single journal issue.
  • If you require more than one article from the same issue, please let us know and we will try to borrow the whole issue for you.
  • Articles and chapters will be supplied as an electronic document, and if this is not possible, then as a photocopy for you to keep.
  • If supplied from the British Library, please see Accessing British Library documents for more information. 


  • Depending on the level of thesis and the awarding institution’s policy, we will attempt to source an electronic copy or the loan of the thesis for you.
  • Theses from the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge are generally not available through the Interlending service. Access is by appointment at Oxford or Cambridge only.
British Doctoral Theses

Please search on EThOS (Electronic Theses Online Service) to see if the required title is already available in a digitised, electronic format for immediate free download; if it isn’t, please place a normal Interlending request to us using the Books, Chapters and Theses request form.

If we have to request digitisation from the owning institution, please allow up to 30 days for the thesis to be supplied to EThOS and then scanned.

Most higher education institutions will not lend original or only copies of their doctoral theses, however, you may be able to visit the institution to consult the thesis in person.

American Doctoral Theses

Make your request using the Interlending request form as above. We may be able to order an electronic or paper copy for you to keep.

British and American MA/MSc and all other foreign Theses

Make your request for these using the Interlending request form as above. We will try to borrow a copy directly from the awarding institution or obtain an electronic copy for you. This may take some time and is not always successful.

Making a request

How to request

To make an Interlending request

University staff and students:

1. Select the request form you require:

2. Complete the form with as much information as you have.

  • Use the 'Additional Information' box to enter any useful information.
  • You can choose which library (JB Morrell or King's Manor) you want to collect your books from. Some items may be restricted to use in the library only.
  • If you require more than one volume of a work, make separate requests for each volume.

3. Submit the request.

Please note, there is a no longer a charge for this service.

External members of the Library:

1. Please email your request to

2. There is a limit of 15 requests per year of membership

3. Please note, there is a charge for the following services:

  • Loan of a book: £16.10
  • Renewal of book: £5.35
  • Copy of an article/chapter: £10.00

4. You may also be able to register for a personal account with the British Library and request copies directly from them. Please see the following information on the British Library website.

Checking request status

Checking your requests

Interlending items you have requested are listed in your Library Account.

Interpreting the status of your request:

Created borrowing request New request that is waiting to be processed by the Library
Request sent to partner A possible lending library has been found and we are waiting for a response
Physically received by the library Item has arrived and is awaiting collection from the Library holdshelf

Cancelling your request

  • If the status of the request is ‘Created borrowing request’ you can cancel it yourself using the ‘Cancel’ option next to it under ‘Actions’.

  • If the status is anything other, please contact the Library to request a cancellation.

Collection and delivery

Collecting books

  • We will let you know when your book arrives, normally by email. Please collect it from JB Morrell Library Help Desk or the King's Manor Library, as specified.
  • You will need to bring your University Card, as books will be issued to you.
  • Some items may be restricted to use in the Library only.
    • Please look for the text “FOR USE IN LIBRARY ONLY” after the book title in your collection email.
    • These items can only be borrowed during full-service hours.

Receiving electronic documents

  • Electronic documents will be delivered by email.
  • If your document is supplied from the British Library, you will receive an email with the subject line “British Library Order ... Ready for download”.
  • Please see the following information for details on creating and activating your account: Accessing British Library documents.

Receiving photocopies

  • If documents can only be supplied as a photocopy we will send them to your mailing address and you can keep these.
  • Delivery of documents:
    • Articles requested by members of staff will be delivered to a departmental address.
    • Articles requested by students will be delivered to a term-time address.

Renewing and returning

How to renew your items

Interlending items you have on loan are listed in your Library Account.

If you want to renew an interlending item, please only do so two to three days before the return date.

To renew an item that you have on loan:

  1. Log in to YorSearch and go to your Library Account
  2. Select the checkbox next to the interlending item you want to renew
  3. Select Renew Selected
  4. The Renew All option does not include interlending items
  5. The due date will not change until interlending staff have processed your renewal request
  6. You will be notified of the new return date as soon as possible
  7. Please do not return the book until you have heard from us via email

To renew an item that is for use in the library only:

  • Please contact Interlending via LibAnswers or on +44 (0)1904 323876

Most items can be renewed if they are not needed by someone else. 

How to return items

Interlending items you have on loan are listed in your Library Account, along with the due date.

Please return loans to the Morrell Library or the King's Manor Library by the due date.

Recalled (or lost) items

Recalled and lost items

If you keep an item that has been recalled, or if you lose it, the British Library (which supplies many of the items) may charge you £179.20 to cover administration and the cost of a replacement. This charge is non-refundable. Other libraries will have their own charges.

Other services

Visit the British Library at Boston Spa

  • You can consult up to 24 items.
  • The Library operates a free weekly minibus service.

Find out more:

Searching abroad

If we cannot find an item in any UK library we may be able to extend the search abroad.

As this can be a lengthy and expensive service it should be confined to essential items only.

Using other libraries

There may be other options for using resources not held in York. The SCONUL Access Scheme gives access to other HE libraries throughout the county and the British Library.

Information for other libraries

We are happy to supply material to other libraries. Please get in touch by email:

Please note, we do not lend:

  • Doctoral Theses (use EThOS instead)
  • Special Collections material (eg York Minster Library, National Railway Museum or Borthwick Institute for Archives material)
  • Short loan or reference items

Help with Interlending

For help or information: