If you need material that is not kept by the Library, you may wish to order items using the Inter-Library Loan (ILL) Service. The Library can obtain books and journal articles from other libraries outside the University of Bolton on your behalf. Other publications such as conference papers and patents can also be obtained.

Contact and feedback information for Inter-Library Loans

We would welcome any comments on this service and supporting information we provide.
Telephone: 01204 903594
Email: Inter-Library Loans team


How many requests can I make?

There is a limit of 10 requests per student. Also bear in mind that several items are likely to arrive at the same time, making it difficult for you to consult them all within the specific loan period.


Making a request

  1. Check the Library Catalogue, to make sure that the item you wish to request is not in stock. Some journal articles are available through the Library's wide range of full text electronic journals. Check these on the Library E-Journals Portal .
  2. Complete the online Inter-Library Loan request form.
  3. Include all details about the item you want to request, making sure they are as accurate as possible. You may be able to cut and paste the text from your source of reference to help with this. Note: when requesting an item you have found in an index or database, please check that the article is in English.
  4. We encourage everyone to submit requests using the online form. This helps us to process them more quickly and speeds up delivery times. If you require a paper copy of the Inter-Library Loan request form please ask a member of the Library staff.
  5. Tick the copyright declaration box. Please note: this is a legal requirement.
  6. The copyright declaration requires you to confirm that photocopied items will only be used for private study or for research for a non-commercial purpose. Please see the section on commercial use at the bottom of this page if you feel your request constitutes commercial copying.
  7. Once your ILL request has been submitted, you can track it by checking the Library Catalogue My Account page.

How long will it take?

Journals - articles

Journal articles will be sent to you either

  • as a printed photocopy direct to the address you quote on the request form, or
  • as an email link, for you to print out yourself.

You can keep any photocopied articles sent to you. These usually take about 1 week to arrive.

Delivery by email is much faster (usually two or three days) see Secure Electronic Delivery service


Books may take longer to arrive. You can usually borrow them for 5 weeks. You will be notified when items have arrived and are ready to be collected from the Library. We will also notify you of any problems or delays.


Requests for UK theses are now dealt with using the Electronic Theses Online System (EThOS). British Library no longer supplies microfilm copies of theses.

EThOS offers free full text access to UK doctoral theses stored electronically by British Library, and also has an online ordering service on the EThOS website for those which are not yet available in digital format.

The webpage for the EThOS service is http://ethos.bl.uk


Return of material

The Inter-Library Loans service depends upon the co-operation of library users.

Please note: there is a late return fine of 50p per day.


Requesting copies for commercial use

If you require inter library loans to support activities which are, directly or indirectly, income-generating, this may constitute "commercial copying". It is essential that we are made aware of this when the ILL request form is submitted. For further details on copyright and inter library loans, see the British Library FAQs about Copyright Law