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Purchase Orders

When ordering any goods or services the British Library generally creates a Purchase Order (PO) with a unique number

The supplier should be in receipt of a valid British Library Purchase Order or Purchase Order number before providing the goods or services

Government Procurement Card (GPC)

The Government Procurement Card (GPC) is a branded VISA Purchasing Card providing The British Library with a cost effective means of buying low value goods and services

Use of the GPC enhances standards of service delivery by making it simpler for employees to buy essential day-to-day items and provides guaranteed on-time payment to suppliers


Invoices must always quote the correct British Library Purchase Order number and should be sent to the following address:

The British Library
Accounts Payable
Boston Spa
LS23 7BQ

The following information must be provided on each invoice:

  • Addressed to the British Library
  • Supplier's name and address
  • The word invoice (or if a credit, the words credit note)
  • Invoice number
  • Invoice date
  • Value and currency
  • Description of goods or services rendered
  • British Library Purchase Order number
  • Contact details of The British Library representative
  • The VAT number and the invoice should be split between the net value of goods and services, the rate and amount of VAT, and the gross (total) value of the invoice

Please note that any invoice which does not comply with these terms will be returned to the supplier for resubmission with the correct information


A scanned image of all invoices is created so it is important that the invoice is of good quality and easy to read. We recommend that the invoice is on white A4 paper, clearly printed in black and that highlighters have not been used


Invoices can also be submitted by email to the following address:

Remittance Advice

Remittance advice will be communicated to suppliers by email

Payment terms

It is the British Library policy that all sums due to its suppliers will become due for payment 30 days after the date of the suppliers correct invoice. However, where clauses are agreed which vary the terms of payment, these will be honoured.

Our terms of trade also include provision for late payment in accordance with the November 1998 Act of Parliament

The British Library reserves the right to withhold payment where the goods or services have not been provided in accordance with the contract

We expect our suppliers to pay any sums due to sub-contractors promptly and within a period not exceeding that set out above

Method of payment

The British Library’s current & only payment method is via BACS (Bankers Automated Clearing Services)

This is a more efficient and secure means of ensuring prompt payment to suppliers as funds are paid directly into their bank account.

Suppliers will receive a detailed remittance advice when payment is made, and any bank charges are borne by the Library

Payment queries

If you have a query regarding an outstanding payment please contact or call our payment query helpline on +44 (0) 1937 546 745

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