Caring for On Demand Loans

Conservation and handling guidelines booklet.

As part of our continued work to conserve and care for our collections, here are some friendly reminders for best practice care of your British Library On Demand loans.

Published date:

Although the majority of our collections come back in the same conditions, very occasional there can be some damage to the items.

A few simple ways to care for the items

Here are some tips to help you look after the item you have borrowed while it is in your care:

  • Many books have restricted openings. Do not force a book open further than it wants to go,
  • Do not drink, eat, smoke or vape around library items,
  • Do not lean, rest or write on top of library items,
  • Do not use post-it notes or other adhesive papers or tapes,
  • Do not use pencils, pens or highlighters on library items
  • Do not fold over the corners of pages,
  • Handle items with clean dry hands

Some items may be more fragile than others, but are still safe to use with careful handling. We want you to enjoy using our materials and for others to be able to have the same access to them when you are finished. Using our collections responsibly enables us to continue to share them for research, inspiration and enjoyment.

Visit the British Library Conservation pages to find out how we care for books, manuscripts, documents and ephemera for current and future users.

If you have any questions our Customer Services team will be happy to help you.

News stories

RMS collection embargo

8 March 2022

We're enhancing our storage facilities in Boston Spa and some of our collections are being moved to enable this work. As a result, some of the items you requested might not be available while they're being moved.