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Document Delivery request form (Word or PDF version)

Secure Electronic Delivery (SED) Instructions

Document Delivery service

Staff and students can borrow books and other resources from the British Library (and other university libraries) via the Document Delivery service.




How to use the Document Delivery service

Complete a Document Delivery and Inter-Library Loans request form, available from the Welcome Desk. Alternatively, download a Word or PDF version.

Follow the instructions for completion, ensuring that all sections are completed accurately, and return it to the Welcome Desk.

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Timeframe for delivery

Requests can take up to three weeks to arrive, so bear this in mind when planning your work.

Generally, however, journal articles usually arrive within four to five days and books three to four days.

If an item is on loan to another reader it may take longer to arrive. We will notify you of any delay.


Books and photocopied journal articles

These will be sent to the Drill Hall Library for collection from the Welcome Desk. You will be informed via your university email when items are ready for collection.

Electronic articles via Secure Electronic Delivery (SED)

The British Library will send a link to your article to your university e-mail address. You must download the article within 30 days of the e-mail's date.

Before downloading the article we recommend that you read our Instruction sheet for important information about where and how to download your SED article.

Please note:

  • you can only activate the link, download and print the article ONCE. However, you can view the article(using Adobe Acrobat Reader 10, Adobe Acrobat Reader DC or Adobe Acrobat Pro 11 or above) for up to three years from the date of download;
  • the article can be downloaded to any device, but you are advised to download it to a PC that is attached to a printer, otherwise you wil not be able to print it;
  • you will need to register for a British Library "On Demand" account before you can access the article. Registration is free - visit ;
  • you will then be able to view the article(s) online at any time by opening the file and entering your British Library "On Demand" username and password;
  • the email from the British Library will contain an SED registration number (ZX----), which you will need in the case of any query.

If you have problems downloading an SED article please contact the ILL department at the Drill Hall Library.

Loan periods

British Library Document Delivery loans are for five-week periods only. Printed articles are yours to keep. Loan periods for items supplied from other libraries may vary.


To comply with current copyright legislation, we have to make a charge for photocopies (5p per A4 page) of Document Delivery articles that are printed by the Drill Hall Library for you to collect.


British Library/Document Delivery books are loaned to you for five weeks.

It may be possible to renew them for a further loan period (normally five weeks), but this is subject to the approval of the British Library or the lending library. Students are required to pay a charge (currently £4.65) in advance (NRI and Pharmacy students need to apply for a renewal via their tutor using a Document Delivery and Inter-Library Loans request form). At least three working days' notice is required to apply to the British Library for book renewals. Please bear this in mind when making a renewal request. Renewals can only be made in person at the Welcome Desk during library core hours of 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.


Returns must be made to the Drill Hall Library Welcome Desk.



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