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Inter Library Loans


Request and delivery


How long will it take my request to arrive?

How will I be notified that my request has arrived?

How long can I keep my Inter Library Loan?


Research groups and commercial activity


Can I request Inter Library Loans for commercial purposes?

Can the Library place requests on behalf of a funded research team?

Help for Secure Electronic Delivery (SED)

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge is not compatible for use with Secure Documents from the British Library. Please use Firefox or Internet Explorer. For more recent versions of Internet Explorer the following workaround is needed.

Document does not open - Internet Explorer

Some newer versions of Internet Explorer have an automated PDF viewer, to open your British Library document you will need to specify that the document opens in Adobe.

When you click the link to download your document, you will be given the option to open or save the document, choose save (not save as).

A bar will then appear at the bottom of the page giving you further options.

Click the down arrow next to ‘open’ and choose ‘open with…’

Click the arow next to Open for more options

Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader should be the top choice, choose this.

You will then be prompted to log in with your British Library Username and Password.

Pages appear blank - Google Chrome

If you are using Google Chrome you will need to disable the built-in PDF viewer in order to read your document otherwise the document will open but all pages will be blank. To do this, type chrome://plugins in the address bar, then scroll down to Chrome PDF viewer and click on disable.

If you find the same issue with other PDF readers, make sure you are using Adobe version 10 or above.

Pages appear blank - Apple users

Apple products may be attempting to open your item in a programme other than Adobe Reader, if your document will not open or all pages are blank you may need to select ‘open in Adobe reader’ rather than just clicking on the document.

Help for British Library Online Account Issues

British Library account not working

New users registering with the British Library will need to validate their account before access to the document is granted.

You should receive 2 emails from the British Library as part of the registration process, one asking you to validate and one confirming your account set up.

It may take up to 5 minutes following receipt of the second email for your account to be activated, if you cannot gain access please try again in 5-10 minutes.

Account validation

If you did not validate your account when you set it up you can request the validation e-mail is resent by logging in at

My Account and clicking 'validate account'

Logging in

Although you will initially be asked for your username or e-mail address to access the document, to log into Adobe Reader you must use your British Library Username, you will not be able to log on using your e-mail address at this point.

British Library online readers pass

If you have previously registered online with the British Library Reading Rooms you will need to enable On Demand services if you wish to use the same account details for your inter library loans.

Log in at

Go to 'Other Services'

Enable: British Library on demand

If this option is grayed out you have not yet validated your account but should have the option to resend the activation e-mail under 'my settings'