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Inter-Library Loans

About Inter-Library Loans

The Inter-Library Loans service allows users to request a book, journal article or document that is not available in Queen Mary Libraries.  Our Queen Mary users are now able to receive their Inter-Library Loan articles via Secure Electronic Delivery.

Who can use the service?

Queen Mary staff, research postgraduates and postgraduate taught students are able to place requests online and at Mile End, Whitechapel and West Smithfield Libraries. The service is also available for undergraduate students based at Whitechapel and West Smithfield Libraries.

If you are an undergraduate taught student at Mile End you cannot place Inter-Library Loan requests online, but you can contact the Team Leader responsible for Inter-Library Loans for help and advice if you wish to trace material that is not available at Queen Mary.

If your library account is blocked due to overdue books or fines totalling more than £12.00, you cannot place an Inter-Library loan request. Contact your home library for advice in this case.

The service is not available to Sconul and Alumni users.  However, Sconul and Alumni users that are looking to obtain material that is not available from our physical collection can register with the British Library directly.


Please check the Library Catalogue and check holdings at Senate House before using the Inter-Library Loan service at any of the Queen Mary libraries. Inter-Library Loans is not an automatic service and we will refer you to other libraries if appropriate. You cannot use the Inter-Library Loan service to request books from the Medical libraries for collection at the Mile End Library or vice-versa.

The following are useful alternatives to the Inter-Library Loans service:

  • All Queen Mary staff and students can request more books.  
  • Academic staff are able to send requests directly to Library Acquisitions.
  • The Subject Guides refer you to useful websites and various specialist Libraries where the content may be freely available.


As of 1st August 2017, the charges are as follows:

  • £9.55 for articles/chapters
  • £15.40 for loans
  • £4.75 for renewals
  • £30.00 for International requests (including books and theses)

The charge for Theses within the UK is dependent upon the providing institution.  For example, the British Library charge £53.24 to digitise a Thesis but it is free if it has already been digitised.

Overdue items will be fined at 50p per week day

The full cost of the invoice for a lost or severely overdue item will be passed directly to the customer.

Placing an Inter-Library Loan

Please use the following link to place an Inter-Library Loan request:

You must first select your home library, which is the site from where you can collect your Inter-Library Loan.

Payment options

Users have two payment options to choose from when placing a request:

  • 'I confirm that I have obtained permission for my department to be invoiced for this item'; or
  • 'I agree to make a personal payment for this item'

If the request is in relation to your studies or research at Queen Mary then under an agreement with the relevant departments automatic permission has been granted to postgraduate taught, postgraduate research and academic staff based at Mile End.  Therefore, if this statement applies you should select the first option when completing your request.

Users based at Whitechapel and non-academic (professional services) staff based at any site will need to speak to their department for permission and provide an appropriate budget code should you choose the first option.

Personal payments can be done via the Eshop.

External Libraries and Institutions

Requests can be made by sending an email to The email should include the following details:

  • Your British Library customer number
  • Your reference number for the request
  • Request details (Title, Author, year, page numbers, volume/issue if relevant)

Payment is charged at the current British Library rate.

Requests for Queen Mary theses may be made through the British Library's EThOS.

Requests from outside the UK are accepted.  We accept IFLA vouchers as payment and will inform as to the number of vouchers required upon receipt of your request.

More information on Inter-Library Loans

Please check the Inter-Library Loans FAQs. If the answer to your question is not there, please email us at

Related links

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