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  • The British Library's document supply service

    Impact of Covid-19 - Update 2 December 2020

    We can confirm that you can continue to order and receive content through British Library On Demand. This includes items from both our Boston Spa and St Pancras sites.

    We have updated our workflows and processes in order to maintain staff safety and well-being. These necessary changes may further impact our service delivery times. If you need Covid-19 related research content or you need an item urgently, you can order through our two hour delivery service. Please note, you will not receive the requested content within the two hour time frame, but this allows us to prioritise Covid-19 related requests. These will not be charged at the premium two hour rate. 

    Due to the implementation of Covid-19 safe working practices, we are currently unable to process 24-hour requests in the stated time frame. These requests will also not be charged at the premium rate.


    Our On Demand loan service is now fully operational with materials available from our stores at the British Library in Boston Spa and London. Please note loans are only available to customers with an On Demand business account.

    Auto renewal fees on loan items remain suspended until further notice.


    The British Library is committed to supporting our colleagues in Higher Education as you make the necessary transition to online teaching. We can confirm that you can still order and receive copies of chapters and articles through the British Library and CLA EHESS service for items held at both British Library sites in Yorkshire and London.

    Please note that we are prioritising capacity over speed, and so we will be unable to meet our published two day speed of service. This is to ensure that our print collections are handled the minimum number of times by the least number of people to limit risk to staff. Please be aware, should our capacity become stretched, or the situation with Covid-19 change, we may need to scale back our operations. We would therefore ask you not to submit bulk quantities in your orders, but spread the orders out. This will help us manage our capacity. We will let you know as soon as possible if anything changes.

    Contact us

    If you have any further queries please contact our Customer Service team through email at customer-services@bl.uk.

    Thank you for your patience during this period. We look forward to continue working closely with you.

    What you need to know


    Power your business with cutting edge research direct from the British Library

    Public good

    Information and specialist On Demand services for UK public sector organisations and charities


    On Demand partners with publishers, rights organisations and others to bring you a better service


    The largest physical collection in the world available to you and millions more items to download

    Case studies

    More Case studies
    …Working with the British Library has been the best co-operative development I’ve ever experienced…

    Jennifer Perkins from Clio tells us why her customers have seen a 75% reduction in failed requests since they integrated their Interlibrary Loans software with British Library On Demand

    …British Library On Demand is a major pillar in our strategy, without it we couldn’t provide the service we do…

    For the University of Sheffield, British Library On Demand does more than just supply articles. Their relationship with the British Library enables them to come good on their core promise to students and researchers.

    News stories

    Reminder: Suspension of On Demand Loan auto renewal fee to end

    22 September 2020

    From 1 October 2020 we will be reinstating our auto renewal fees following its suspension throughout the summer.

    Thank you for continuing to use British Library On Demand

    22 September 2020

    As we have all been through and continue to face challenges, we just want to say thank you for sticking by us and continuing to use British Library On Demand

    We’ve made changes to Business Account Administration – make sure your details are up to date

    22 September 2020

    We’ve made changes to On Demand Business Account Management. Find out all you need to know and ensure your details are up to date.