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Before making a request

Please remember to check iDiscover and other card catalogues before submitting the request to ensure as best you can that the item you require is not already available in Cambridge University.

Completing a request form

If you are unable to find any evidence that the item you require is available in Cambridge you should fill in the Universal ILL Request form. Copies of this form are available at the West Room Enquiry Desk. Alternatively, you can find a copy here (please print out and submit to the ILL department with payment).

Completed request forms should be handed in at the West Room enquiry desk, together with the appropriate fee (see below). Alternatively, completed forms and a cheque for the appropriate fee can be posted to the Inter-Library Loans department, either through the University Messenger Service (Cambridge University premises only) or the postal service.

Subsequently, should it turn out that the item cannot be supplied you will be entitled to a full refund, notification of which will be sent to you.

Some points to note

  • Payment: Payment must be accepted at the time of making the request. The fee for an Inter-Library Loan request is currently £3.00 for members of Cambridge University and £6.00 for all other readers. Payment can be made in cash or by cheque made payable to "University of Cambridge".
  • Contact details: Please supply your full postal address and e-mail, as we use a system independent from the Library's circulation system.
  • Consultation: All loaned items on Inter-Library Loan are for reference use in the West Room only (home reading is not permitted).
  • Multi-volume sets: Please complete a separate application form for each volume required. Libraries will charge per volume.
  • Journal articles: By law you may only request one article from any single journal issue. If you require more than one article please request the whole issue for loan, or speak to the ILL staff about obtaining "copyright fee paid" items from the British Library Document Supply Centre.
  • Secure Electronic Delivery (SED): If you require either a journal article or a copy of a chapter from a book, and the British Library holds the item, it may be possible to receive this via secure electronic delivery. See our Secure Electronic Delivery page for more information.
  • British Ph.D. Theses: Ph.D. theses submitted at almost 100 UK universities are obtainable from EThOS, a service set up to provide electronic access to all theses from participating institutions whether submitted as hardcopy or electronically. Over 250,000 theses are already available through EThOS.
  • Non-Roman script: Since this cannot be keyed for electronic transmission, please transliterate the request and also hand in a copy of the reference in the original script.
  • Latest Acceptable Date: All requests are treated with equal urgency, but if there is a time after which the item will no longer be of use then please let us know.
  • Incomplete forms: Lack of complete information can result in a delay of requested material.

Important Note - Junk Mail Safe List

Emails with links or attachments, such as those sent by the Inter-Library Loans Department to inform you of an arrival or the British Library when supplying documents electronically, may be filtered by various email clients and service providers. It is therefore important to regularly check your junk mail folder or add the following addresses to your email "Safe List" in the junk mail settings: