Your Interlibrary Loan request

Requests are usually supplied within a week. However, it may take longer if the item you request is out of the ordinary, or in great demand. You can use the online service to check the progress of your requests or ask the Interlibrary Loan staff (ext. 3575,

British Library Secure Electronic Delivery (SED) Service

Most of our ILL requests are supplied through the British Library on Demand service.

Instead of the British Library printing a copy of an article and posting it, they put a copy on their web server for you to read or print out. You will get an email to your University email address to tell you when it is ready.

Terms & conditions

  • You must download the document within 30 days of being notified it is available.
  • For items delivered as Encrypted Downloads you may download and print your document once.
  • Once downloaded, you are advised to save the pdf file to your hard drive/memory stick as the article is not automatically saved
  • Once saved documents can be viewed for up to 3 years on any PC, including mobile devices.

Non-SED ILL requests

Other non-SED ILL requests are delivered as follows to Edinburgh, Galashiels and Orkney campuses:

  • Print copies of articles are sent directly to your School (staff) or your term-time address (postgraduates/undergraduates).
  • Books and other requests for staff are sent to your School.
  • Books and other requests for students are held in the Library for collection. You will be notified by email that the item is available, and you should collect and sign for the item
    • Edinburgh Campus: collect from the Customer Service Desk
    • Scottish Borders Campus: collect from the Service Desk
    • Orkney Campus: collect and return items to Carl Mullins
  • Some items, such as theses, may only be used in the Library. This is a condition of loan specified by the lending library. We must comply with the terms of any loan; library staff cannot make exceptions to any conditions specified by lending libraries. In such cases we will send you an email to inform you that the item is available for consultation in the Library.

Loan period

The normal loan period for books is 5 weeks.  Please return your loan to the Library Loan staff during this time.

  • Do not return items direct to the lending library.

Charges and fines

The cost of any late fines/fees will be passed on to you.

  • Lost loans have a charge of at least £160.10.

Renewals and recalls

  • Loans may sometimes be extended - you can request this by contacting the Interlibrary Loan staff (ext 3575; email before the return date.
  • The first renewal is free - subsequent renewals will have a charge of £5.00 (staff may complete the ILL charge form).
  • A loan may be recalled from you if someone else needs it - you must return it by the date given on the notice sent to you.