Click here to skip to content

Ordering items using the online catalogues video transcript

Here’s a quick guide to finding and ordering items using the British Library’s online catalogue.

You can use our main catalogue, Explore the British Library, to find books, sounds, articles and more. We also have specialist tools such as our Archives and Manuscripts catalogue.

You can order items in advance of your visit; it’s worth doing this so you don’t have to wait for delivery.

Here are 5 simple steps to placing an order with Explore the British Library.

  1. Login with your Reader Pass number and password.
  2. Type what you’re looking for (a keyword, title, ISBN etc). You can then filter the results using the options on the left-hand side.
  3. Choose ‘I want this’ and then ‘add to reservation list’.
  4. Go to the reservation list to check when it will be available - remember that off-site items could take up to 48 hours.
  5. Request the item you want, and when you want it to arrive. If it’s a journal, you’ll need to specify the part.

Your item will arrive at the Issue Desk in the Reading Room you have chosen, and you can order up to 10 items a day.