Found a really interesting article or book that we don’t have access to?

If you want a book sent over from another one of Bath Spa's libraries (Newton Park, Corsham Court or Sion Hill), please place a hold instead. 


How many inter-library loans (ILLs) can I have?

  • Undergraduates and PGCEs can make up to 10 requests during the academic year.
  • Masters students can have 25 requests per academic year.

How do I apply for an ILL?

*Please note: you won’t be able to request an ILL if you are blocked from library privileges.

Where does the book/article come from?

  • We usually send requests to The British Library - they have millions of items in stock.
  • When a book arrives for you, an email will be sent to your BSU account letting you know that it is available. Journal articles are emailed to you.

How long does an ILL take to arrive?

  • This varies depending on the type of item you have asked for and where we borrow it from.
  • As a general guide, articles delivered by Secure Electronic Delivery (SED) can arrive within 48 hours, providing they are available from the British Library. Books will take longer as they rely on the postal service.

How long can I keep ILLs?

  • We put a bookmark in each book showing the due date.
  • Please contact us if you want to renew an ILL. The British Library may allow a loan to be renewed but they will also charge for it, so we will count this as another request off your allocation. All loans are subject to immediate recall, so do keep an eye on your BSU email for Library notifications.

Can I have journal articles emailed to me?

  • All ILL journal articles are emailed directly to your BSU email address under a service called Secure Electronic Delivery (SED). This means we can usually supply journal articles quickly.
  • Please note that you will need to install some free software on your computer before you can open SED journal articles. There are also a number of copyright restrictions on SED articles, so it is advisable to print them as soon as you receive them.
  • We recommend you follow the instructions below before attempting to open your first SED journal article.

What happens if I don’t return a book on time or I lose it?

  • After a certain time if the book hasn’t been returned, the lending library will charge for a replacement copy.
  • The British Library’s charge is currently £156.50 + VAT (unless the item is more expensive). Even if the book is subsequently returned, there is still a 50% administration fee.
  • If these charges are made, they will be passed on to you, so keep an eye on your BSU email account for any Library notices.

What about borrowing PhD theses?

  • To request a thesis, go to EThOS (Electronic Theses Online System). You can search the EThOS catalogue and download a digital version of an available thesis for free.
  • If the British Library haven’t digitised the thesis you want, they will try and obtain an electronic copy or direct you to where you can get a paper copy. Where electronic copies have to be made, you may have to pay a fee (you will be alerted to this when you confirm your order).
  • If electronic copies are not available, we may be able to borrow a paper copy on your behalf. Please contact us for more information.

Can I request music scores?

  • Yes - we can supply single study scores. The British Library collection holds more than 130,000 scores.
  • Please note that we are unable to supply sets or parts of vocal scores for performance.

Please ask in the Library if you would like more information, or contact

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