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Electronic delivery

Everything you need to know about receiving your document electronically.

You can order a document via any of our ordering routes.

FileOpen via Adobe

FileOpen is a simple, safe and fully compliant Digital Rights Management (DRM) tool that is compatible with every version of Adobe Reader from version 4.

Apart from ease of installation and not requiring upgrades, one additional driver for customers' adoption of FileOpen is that it supports JPEG2000, the new high quality picture format used by many publishers, currently not available with Adobe Digital Editions.

More information on FileOpen

Adobe Digital Editions

Adobe Digital Editions is a small, freely downloadable software application (4MB), which enables you to receive SED (Secure Electronic Delivery) documents. 

Please note you might be required to download updates in order to access your files. At the moment, non-registered customers wishing to receive SED documents need to have ADE installed.

More information on ADE


Ariel is a method of sending and receiving documents electronically, but you must have Ariel software loaded on your computer to view and print the documents. 

Please note that:

  • You may print only one paper copy from the Ariel transmission, from which you may not make further copies
  • You are not allowed to store the electronic copy in any way once the single paper copy has been made
  • You may not retransmit the Ariel file except in order to allow the original requestor to print the single paper copy allowed above. You may not save or print the document before forwarding it. The file can only be forwarded as an email attachment; it must not be loaded on to a server for downloading by the end user. Files can only be forwarded in the format supplied by the British Library; they must not be manipulated in any way or converted to a different format.
  • If you need the complete document resending, because it is defective or is the wrong article, you must destroy the wrong/defective copy and any associated electronic files.


Unencrypted Delivery

If your organisation holds a relevant CLA Licence, the British Library can supply electronic documents with no Digital Rights Management (DRM) through this service.

Your PDF ® document will be loaded on to a British Library server and you will be sent an email (containing a link to your specific order) informing you that your document is ready to be downloaded. Your document will be available for download for 14 days before being deleted from the server.

Your file will be delivered as a standard image PDF and once you have downloaded it you will be able to use it locally for as long as you are permitted under the terms of your CLA Licence.