Library loans and copies guide

Our Library Loans and Copies service can supply original items on loan, and copies of journal articles, book chapters, conference papers and law reports. This service is available to libraries in the UK and abroad.



Most items are available for loan, although we do not loan material in the following categories: 

  • Journals 
  • Items marked Reference Only on our catalogue 
  • Items more than 100 years old 
  • Government Publications 
  • Law Reports 
  • Maps 
  • DVD/Video
  • Psychological Tests 

We do not loan theses to libraries outside the UK or Republic of Ireland. 

The loan period is normally 4 weeks. Free renewals are available upon request, up to a maximum loan period of 24 weeks. We are unable to renew items that have been requested by other libraries or Senate House Library readers. 

After 24 weeks, further renewals are granted at our discretion, and will incur another payment of the original charge — although further renewals will then be available as described above. 

Items are normally loaned for home reading, but we may loan items for library use only, at our discretion. You should specify when you place your order if home reading is essential, and then we will contact you if the item cannot be loaned for home reading. 



Most University of London theses are available through the British Library’s EThOS service

The Library no longer holds hard copies of theses submitted by students of the various Colleges and Institutes that comprise the federal University of London. Application should be made to the relevant College, although the Colleges do not generally loan theses. 

The Library generally holds copies of doctoral theses and pre-1968 masters theses where the student did not attend a specific College — e.g. the University of London External Programme (now ULIP) and the School of Advanced Study. These are available for loan to libraries in the UK and Republic of Ireland for library use only, and may not be photocopied while on loan.



Copies are supplied in accordance with UK copyright law, which means we can supply up to one article from the same journal issue, or up to 5%/one chapter from a published edition. Copies are supplied on the understanding that the end-user has signed a copyright declaration, stating that the copy is required for non-commercial research or private study. 


Placing an order 

We accept orders by email, post or fax. If you would like us to collect payment from your British Library account, please include your account number and a reference number for billing purposes. 

Processing your order 

You will normally hear from us in 2 working days if we cannot satisfy your order. 

If the item you have ordered is held in one of the other Senate House Libraries — or at one of the Colleges or Institutes of the University of London — we will advise you of this and provide the contact details of the holding library so you can apply direct. If we cannot supply a Loan or Copy for any other reason, we will let you know why. 

If we can satisfy your order, it will normally be shipped within 4-5 working days — although if your library is based outside the UK or Ireland we will first contact you to confirm the price.



If your library is based in the UK or Republic of Ireland, we will collect payment from your British Library account using the reference number and account number you supplied with your order. 

If your library is based outside the UK or Republic of Ireland, we will contact you before we supply the item to confirm the price. You can then either: 

  • Confirm you will send IFLA vouchers to cover the cost 
  • Authorise us to debit a British Library account 
  • Pay online with a credit or debit card via the University of London Online Shop 



Loans are shipped by Parcel Force. 

Copies are normally shipped by email — we will send you a download link so you can download the copy. 

Copies can also be shipped via First Class Royal Mail within the UK or Airmail outside the UK.


Lost items 

We charge a standard £50.00 replacement fee if a loaned item is lost or damaged while on loan.


Contacting us 
Document Supply Services
Senate House Library 
Malet Street 
United Kingdom 
T +44(0)20 7862 8447 
F +44(0)20 7862 8480 



From 1 September 2014

  Loans Copies
Library in UK £12.65 £7.85 
Library in Ireland  £17.00 £7.85
Library in Europe  £20.75 £7.85 
Library outside Europe £25.65  £7.85 


Please note: VAT at the prevailing UK rate is added to all copy orders supplied within the European Union.