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Service Speeds

When you order your article you will be offered three service options: Standard, 2 hours and 24 hours*. Some articles can also be downloaded immediately as a secure PDF from BLDSS.


Standard turnaround time is usually between two and five working days, although 90% of orders are processed within 48 hours. However we cannot guarantee response times through the Standard service.

Immediate Download

Immediate download is available on selected articles on orders placed through the BLDSS online interface. You will be able to see whether an article is available for immediate download on the Ordering page. 

2 hour delivery**

Available between 08.00 Monday and 02.00 Saturday (UK time), excluding public holidays. 

24 hour delivery**

Available Monday to Friday, apart from public holidays. However, requests received on a Friday might be dealt with the following Monday.

* If the document you want is available, it will be dispatched within your chosen response time. If there is a problem, or we don’t hold the document, we will instead send you a reply telling you so.

**2 and 24 hour delivery will only be timed from when the order is confirmed at the British Library and is only available on items contained within our collection.