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What is the Interlibrary Loan Service?

Information about loan types, requests and waiting times

Emergency Information

Due to the current COVID-19 Coronavirus situation and the consequent closure of the British Library book loan service, we are unable to offer our normal interlibrary loan service.

We are still able to offer electronic delivery of some journal articles and book chapters, but cannot offer a print book interlibrary loan service. If you think a particular book is essential to your study then please email us at We will investigate the possibility of purchasing your requested item as an ebook. We must stress that for many requests ebooks are not available as an alternative to print, but we will try our best to help you.

What is the Interlibrary Loan Service?

If you are unable to find what you want in our print stock or via NELSON, you can apply to our Interlibrary Loan Service to source the material for you.

We are currently able to supply

  • Book Chapters
  • Conference Reports
  • Journal Articles
  • Print books

This service is available to all University of Northampton students, staff and researchers. 

Journal Article Requests

Before submitting an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request for a journal article, please check NELSON to make sure that the item is not already available to you. If you can’t find the article you need, then please use the ILL request form.

An ILL article will be delivered to you electronically to your supplied email address. (If your article is supplied by the British Library, you will receive it through an electronic delivery system called DRM Light. It requires a British Library account. We have a guide available if you need any help)

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Book Requests

We are now able to offer a limited book request service as the British Library has resumed print book interlibrary loans. Please be advised that there still may be difficulties in sourcing requests as the British Library only supply about half of our book requests and other lending libraries have not yet resumed their lending services. Please make your request via the interlibrary loan form and the team will be able to advise you further. 

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Other Interlibrary Loan Requests

You can also request a chapter of a book and conference papers with the Interlibrary Loan Request form

How long will it take?

Due to COVID-19, interlibrary loans are running a reduced service, but we can still currently obtain some journal articles, book chapters and print books for loan from the British Library. Please be advised that the British Library is only able to supply about 50% of our books loan requests and other University lending libraries have not resumed their lending services.  Please also be aware that response times from other organizations may be slower than usual due to COVID-19.  If you have any queries regarding Interlibrary Loans please contact Please be aware that staff availability may be reduced and therefore, we may take longer in responding to you than normal.