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University Library Services

Interlibrary Loans

A guide about how to request material not held in our collections or available through our subscriptions.
× IMPORTANT: At the end of October 2023, the British Library experienced a major technology outage as a result of a cyber-attack. The outage affected their website and online systems and services, including On Demand which we use to supply digital articles and single chapters. As of now, this service remains offline. You can continue to submit requests and we will send these to other higher education institutions, however, please note that fulfilling your request may take longer.

Yellow background with blue text saying Interlibrary loans overview, next to a cartoon book

The interlibrary loan service is available to help current University of Sunderland students and staff obtain material not held in our collections or available through our subscriptions. We will try to find the item for you via the British Library or other UK institutions

Material not in our collections or subscriptions can be requested, and we will try our best to obtain a copy for you. Please note that we cannot guarantee that we can supply all materials requested.

Journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers will be supplied electronically where possible to your University of Sunderland e-mail address. Print books will need to be collected from St. Peter’s Library or Library@Murray as postal loans for this type of material are not possible. E-books are not available through the interlibrary loan service. Only material to support academic study, teaching, or research should be requested.

Print books are obtained via the British Library where possible which can take a minimum of 14 days. If the material is not available from the British Library, we will try other libraries for you. Journal articles and individual book chapters will be obtained via the British Library’s On Demand service where possible, taking between 2-10 days depending on availability.

Straightforward requests such as articles from large journals should be fulfilled quickly, whereas more obscure items may take much longer to be sourced. It is not possible to guarantee delivery within a specific time. Please always allow a minimum of 14 days, longer if possible, for a request to be fulfilled.

Please note that we may not be able to get copies or loans of some items due to item availability or copyright restrictions.

Confirm that the material is not available by searching Library Search, ensuring you are signed in to view complete results. Some materials may also be available freely online, such as review papers, open-access journals, and government publications.

If the material you need is a UK doctoral thesis, most are available to download free of charge from EThOS, the British Library’s electronic thesis service.

If the material you need is a print book or e-book, consider suggesting the title for purchase through our Suggest a Book scheme.