British Library On Demand Service Update June 2020

Boston Spa Reception and Reading Room

A limited number of staff will shortly be returning to our Boston Spa site. This will allow us to increase the capacity of our content available for you to order through British Library On Demand.

Published date:

We will begin to resume services using a phased approach. ‘Speed of service’ targets may be compromised. During this period we are ask you to bear with us as we work to increase capacity and resume normal levels. We aim to provide a next day service for urgent orders requested through On Demand and make best efforts to supply standard service requests as soon as possible.

Once we finalise workflows and provide all necessary steps to support staff in our buildings, we will look to increase capacity. We will, of course, keep you updated with these developments.

We will continue to supply items for immediate download from our digital stores.

Any items we cannot supply due to either stock location or reduced resources will continue to receive a reapply reply code.


To ensure the security of our collection, we are still unable to accept any requests for loans. We will continue to renew items already on loan, without any charge.

Urgent and Covid-19 Research Requests

If your organisation is working on Covid-19 related research or you are in the NHS, NICE or Public Health organisations, we are continuing to prioritise your requests. We endeavour to satisfy your requests from our electronic resources and print holdings. If your request is Covid-19 related please submit your request via the two-hour ordering service. Although we are not providing two hour delivery, this will allow us to prioritise your requests. Please note, you will not be charged the higher fee.

The British Library has a list of public health information and research publications that are available to support the public, researchers and policymakers during the Covid-19 pandemic. You can find the list here. In addition, you may find material which is available through the Open Access Button. This allows you to access research content which is freely available online.

Contact us

If you have any queries please contact our Customer Service through email at Customer Services are unable to take calls, but will respond to your e-mail as soon as possible.

Please bear with us during this difficult period and check our webpages for updates. You can also follow us on twitter to keep up to date @ondemandBL.

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.