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Operating hours and public holiday closures

Standard Operating Hours

The Document Supply Service is available to process your automated* requests from 08:00 Monday to 04:30 Saturday, except when closed for English public holidays.

Customer Services Orders are also available to accept any 2-hour and 24-hour requests by email, fax or telephone, during our core business hours of 08:00 to 17:00 each day, Monday through to Friday.  Any orders received by the team outside of these hours will be timed from 08:00 on the next working day. Please note that a service fee is charged for the inputting of each order in addition to the article delivery cost and applicable copyright fees.

In the event of an English public holiday, these will be timed from 08.00 on the next working day. Requests for items urgently required during the period 17:00 to 08:00 should be made by one of our automated methods of ordering.

On rare occasions, the 2-hour service may have to be restricted without prior notice for operational or technical reasons.

*Automated requesting methods interface directly into our request processing and delivery systems and include BLDSS, ARTEmail, and Explore the British Library. For more information on any of our requesting methods please contact

Customer Services

If you have any questions or a problem with our services, you can speak with a member of our Customer Services staff between 08.30 and 19.00 (UK time), Monday to Friday, except when the Library is closed for a public holiday.

Tel: +44 (0)1937 546060

Minicom (for the use of the hearing impaired): +44 (0)1937 546434

Fax: +44 (0)1937 546333


Public Holiday Closures - 2015/16

All Document Supply services will be closed on the following dates:

Monday Spring bank holiday – Monday 25 May

  • The Boston Spa Reading Room will close at 16:30 on Friday 22 May, re-opening at 09:00 on Tuesday 26 May
  • We will not process any requests received after 02:30 (UK time) on Saturday 23 May until our document supply service reopens on Tuesday 26 May at 08:00 (UK time). This includes any requests for the 2 hour service.
  • Any 2 hour or 24 hour requests received at the British Library after 02:30 on Saturday 23 May will be timed from 08:00 on Tuesday 26 May.
  • Articles available for Immediate Download will continue to be delivered during this period.