Birkbeck Library > Using the Library > How do I ...? Frequently asked questions > Obtain materials I can't find in Birkbeck Library

How do I - obtain materials not held in Birkbeck Library?

When you are researching a specialised topic, we may not have all the material you require at Birkbeck. However, there are various options open to you:

Using other libraries

As a Birkbeck student you may be entitled to use other libraries, both in London and throughout the UK. For more information click on the Other libraries tab above. 

Open Access Button

If you need a paper/journal article urgently before making an interlibrary loan request, please use the Open Access Button below - click on the icon, to see if the item is freely available on the web first.

open access button icon2

Interlibrary loans

If you are a currently-enrolled Birkbeck student or staff, and the material you require is not held in any local library, you can apply for an interlibrary loan.

Click on the button below to login to the Birkbeck interlibrary loan service. If this is your first request, you will need to register. Once registered, you can place, view, renew and chase your requests here.


Interlibrary loan entitlements are:

Undergraduates: 5; Postgraduates: 10; Research students and staff: 15.

If you have any questions about the service, please contact the interlibrary loans team:

  • 020 7631 6363

Requesting UK Doctoral theses

To order a doctoral thesis that has been awarded by a British University, you need to request a digital copy online at the British Library's Electronic Theses Online System (EThOS) web site. The British Library EThOS web site allows individual researchers to access and download e-theses awarded through UK Higher Education institutions, free of charge (in most cases) to the end user. More information on how to obtain access to electronic theses

Please note, if the thesis is not awarded by a UK university (i.e. overseas), you can request it as an interlibrary loan.