You can order items from within the Reading Rooms, for the same day or for a future visit. If ordering for the same day, you should note:
- Some of the Library's collection is stored offsite and may take from 2 - 48+ hours to be delivered.
- You cannot make requests for the same day after 16:00.
- There is no delivery of offsite material on Saturdays.
The ordering process provides specific delivery information for each item requested.
You can order 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except when technical upgrades are required.
- Choose a seat before you begin your search.
- Begin your search using Explore the British Library, Search our Catalogue Archives & Manuscripts, or other Handlists or catalogues in the Reading Room.
- Online help and 'how to videos' are available for Explore the British Library and Search our Catalogue Archives & Manuscripts.
- You can request an item for 'today' or, if you have more than one item you wish to request or wish to request items for a future date you can add items to a 'basket'.
- Enter your seat number to enable staff to activate your desk light (where available in some Reading Rooms) when the items arrive.
- You may order up to 10 items per day.
- You can track the status of your requests with My Reading Room Requests.
- Some items cannot be requested via our online catalogues. The Issue Desk staff will advise on procedure.