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Document supply and Reading Rooms

The British Library currently spends over £18 million a year acquiring new material. More than £12 million of this is spent on journal acquisitions. Purchased material is used to support the Library’s Document Supply service which enables researchers to borrow titles as well as request copies of documents and images. The Library currently has over 13,000 registered remote supply customers who use the service as a means of sourcing material which is not available in their local or organisation library.

How do publishers benefit?

Currently the British Library pays over £4.5 million annually in copyright royalties to publishers. These payments are, in most cases, delivered via the CLA (Copyright Licensing Agency) including those payments intended for publishers licensed via other reciprocating agencies internationally like the CCC (Copyright Clearance Center) in the United States. Copies are only made where the Library has the necessary permissions. The Library charges the customer copyright fees specified by publishers.

The Library can also provide a 'multiple copies service' on your behalf. Please contact your local RRO (Reproduction Rights Organisation) or the British Library directly if you are interested in discussing this further.

Where can I find more information?


Further information about the CLA can be found on their website.