Quotas and charges

Due to the cost of fullfilling requests the number freely fullfilled per person is limited by a quota system. Quotas run for the academic year; from the start of August to the end of July. Unused portions of quotas cannot be carried forward to the next academic year.

Items requested over and above your quota will incur a charge but we will always check with you first before placing a charged for request.

British Library items on loan returned late may incur an additional renewal charge.

Some users (e.g. undergraduates and clerical staff) are required to apply for an quota must first fill in the appropriate application form:

Distance Learners and Authorisation

If you are an undergraduate student registered as a distance learner you will automatically get an allocation and do not need to complete a form.  If you a post-graduate distance learner at any level, you have the same ILL quota and rights as on campus students.

Annual quotas

From 1st August 2013 to 31st July 2014

Category of UserAnnual Quota*
Academic staff, University staff grade 6 and above, Emeritus Professors, and full-time campus-based research students 25
Research postgraduates 25
Distance learning research students and part-time campus-based research students** 35
Taught course postgraduates (higher degree), including PGCE & part-time students 15
Distance learning taught postgraduates (higher degree)** 25
Taught course postgraduates - (not Higher Degree) Up to 5 
Undergraduate, postgraduate certificate and intercalating students, University staff grades 1 to 5, visiting academic staff and teaching assistants Up to 5 
Distance learning undergraduate students** 10
Occasional/temporary academic staff Up to 5 
Teaching Assistants Up to 5
Clerical staff (grades 1-5) Up to 5 
Retired staff 0

**Distance learners have a combined quota for ILLs and article/chapter photocopies from existing Library stock.

Once a request for an item has been processed your quota will be reduced, even if we are unable to locate the materials. This reflects the staff time expended in processing, searching and attempting to obtain the items for you.

Charges for overquota items

Request costsQuota costOver quota/charged rate
Electronic article from the UK



Electronic article (from print)


Photocopied article from the UK



Single loan from the UK



Renewal each application per item



Copyright cleared article


£9.50 plus copyright fee

Non UK loan or article


Please order direct from the British Library using Get It For Me or Find It For Me

Urgent action item


Please order direct from the British Library using Get It For Me or Find It For Me

UMI Proquest Thesis



EThOS Thesis Digitisation Charge



**Some EThOS institutions charge a higher fee.

Additional charges & multiple-volume works

Some material, such as theses, worldwide requests and urgent action items, are only available at extra cost. Where multiple volumes of a work (e.g. journal or book) are requested, each physical volume of the work required will constitute a separate quota request; unless they are bound together by the loaning library as a single item.

Other Charges

Request costsOver quota or charged rate
Uncollected items £7.00

Lost or damaged ILL British Library items

Minimum charge made by the British Library is £187.80

Lost or damaged ILL items from other institutions

Variable charge made by the lending library plus £7.00 handling charge per item

VAT is included where applicable.

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