The British Library's document supply service

Impact of Covid-19 - Update 27 July 2020

We are delighted to let you know that we are now able to open up access to more content to all our customers through British Library On Demand.

Over the past few weeks our staff who could not work from home have gradually returned to our sites, thus allowing us to significantly re-open the majority of our On Demand Services. This has required us to update our workflows and processes in order to maintain staff safety and well-being. You can now receive almost all the full range of content via On Demand apart from collections held in London. We are not in a position to resume our loan service just yet, but we are able to accept returns of loans - automatic renewal fees remain suspended.

These necessary changes will, in the short term impact our service delivery times which will be slower than usual. We will endeavour to provide the requested item within 5 working days. If you need Covid-19 related research content or you need an item urgently, you can order through our two hour delivery service. Please note that you will not receive the requested content within the two hour time frame, but this allows us to prioritise Covid-19 related requests. These requests will not be charged at the premium two hour rate. 

Should our capacity become stretched, or the situation with Covid-19 change, we may need to scale back our operations. 

Thank you for your patience during this period. We look forward to working with you in the future. 

If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Service Department through email at

Please regularly check back for further updates. You can also follow us on twitter to keep up to date @ondemandBL.

On Demand

British Library On Demand is the document supply service from the British Library. We scan and send chapters and articles from our collections so you can have them when and where you need them

Search and order or find out more about what British Library On Demand can do for you or your organisation. You can also check if the content you require is available through the Open Access Button. This tool allows you to access research content available free and unrestricted online.

What you need to know


Power your business with cutting edge research direct from the British Library

Public good

Information and specialist On Demand services for UK public sector organisations and charities


On Demand partners with publishers, rights organisations and others to bring you a better service


The largest physical collection in the world available to you and millions more items to download

Case studies

More Case studies
…Working with the British Library has been the best co-operative development I’ve ever experienced…

Jennifer Perkins from Clio tells us why her customers have seen a 75% reduction in failed requests since they integrated their Interlibrary Loans software with British Library On Demand

…British Library On Demand is a major pillar in our strategy, without it we couldn’t provide the service we do…

For the University of Sheffield, British Library On Demand does more than just supply articles. Their relationship with the British Library enables them to come good on their core promise to students and researchers.

News stories

We’re working to make On Demand better

10 July 2020

We are working to make long term improvements to the way we work but there will some short term disruption to our services

British Library On Demand Service Update June 2020

10 June 2020

We are working towards some staff returning to the Boston Spa site in June. This will only be possible when measures are in place to ensure staff and customer safety, which is paramount. Discover what this means for document supply

EHESS Service Update

10 June 2020

The British Library is committed to support our colleagues in Higher Education as you make the necessary transition to online teaching. Find out how we are restarting our operations to support you.

British Library On Demand Annual Price Review

10 June 2020

Following the annual review there have been some small changes to the pricing for content from British Library On Demand from 1 August 2020. Find out how this may affect you