How to order images

Imaging-manuscript

Here's a guide to using the British Library's Imaging Services. It covers everything you need to know about ordering images from the British Library

Published date:

You can order images from the British Library using our online order form. Before doing this, however, we recommend you check the following:

  • That the item you want is not already available to buy and download from Images Online, our online picture library
  • That you are allowed to copy the material you want under copyright law or have obtained permission to copy it from the rights holder
  • That you will be able to use the image you order in the way you want. If you want to reproduce the image in a publication or broadcast, you will need to obtain permissions from the Library and sometimes from the rights holders of the material
  • That you have calculated the prices of the items you wish to order using our price list.

Completing the order form

After you’ve entered your personal details into the order form, you need to select your delivery method and then provide details of the material you want to order. You can order up to five items per form. If you need to order more items, please complete a separate form or email Reproductions-Web-Orders@bl.uk with the remainder of your order, quoting your order reference number.

You will need the British Library shelfmark or manuscript number for each item. Shelfmarks can be found by searching Explore the British Library and manuscript numbers can be found by searching Explore Archives and Manuscripts.

You’ll also need to provide the title of the item and the pages or folio numbers you want. If you can, it’s also advisable to provide the author and publication date to help us find the right item. You can give us any further information you think would help us to get your order right, for example if you only want the illustration on a page, tell us that in the additional information box or email Reproductions-Web-Orders@bl.uk.

For each item, select the kind of image you want us to produce for you. Details of our products and prices are available on our pricing page.

Confirmation

When you submit your Imaging Services order online, we will confirm the details of your order before you pay. This will include an order reference number. You should make a note of this number so you can quote it if you get in contact with us about your order.

Payment

You can pay for your order by credit or debit card. We accept most major credit and debit cards. We will pre-authorise your card, but only take payment when your order goes into production in our studios.

For organisations who can’t pay by card, we can set up an account for you. British Library On Demand customers who already have a business account with us can quote their account number in the order form and their order will be charged through this account.

Cancellation

If our studios haven’t started to process your order, you can cancel your order free of charge. After we have started work you will be charged a cancellation fee of £20.