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Durham University

University Library

Document Delivery Service

UPDATED SERVICE DISRUPTION: The loan of physical items through the Document Delivery Service will no longer be possible due to the ongoing coronavirus situation. We will continue to attempt to supply chapters and articles from e-books and e-journals. Scanning from physical items will not be possible at this time.

We hope to resume our normal service levels once the coronavirus situation permits.

UPDATED INFO. DDS RENEWALS & RETURNS Please do not attempt to return any Document Delivery Service loans at this time (either via post or in person).

Renewals DDS staff will arrange extensions of your loans when they become due. No fines or renewal fees will be charged.

Get access to the world’s best resources through the Document Delivery Service. If you want to read a book or paper which is not available online or within our library collections, then we can use our extensive network of contacts to find you a copy.

Whole books, theses and journal issues will be delivered to the Bill Bryson Library. You can also ask for journal articles and chapters of books: these can be delivered as a scan direct to your email, or as a hardcopy (printout) for you to keep.

There is a cost for this service: check the current charges page for the current prices and to see whether you or your department pays the cost of the request.

Use the links below to tell us what you need:

Before you start

  • Check our catalogue to confirm that the book or journal is definitely not in our library. Discover might say that we do not have an e-journal, but we may have the journal in hardcopy, so you save time and money doing an extra search.
  • Is the item you want freely available on the internet? A quick internet search can find review papers, open access journals, government publications and old books which are out of copyright. Plugins are available to help you find Open Access articles: see the Full-text access tools webpage for more information.
  • If you want a thesis then many are available for immediate download. Check ETHOS for UK theses and Proquest Digital Dissertations for international theses before placing a Document Delivery Service request.
  • For best results plan ahead. Give us plenty of time to track down a copy of the book you want.
  • Help us to help you by providing full and accurate information about the item you want.

How the Document Delivery Service works....

  • Fill out an online request form (see the links above, or follow the Connexions link in databases) and we will email you when the item arrives.
  • Most items arrive in around a week. (25% arrive in 2 days and 78% arrive within 7 days). More unusual requests can take longer to source.
  • Please allow 7-10 days before contacting Document Delivery Service staff about an ongoing request.
  • There is a charge for each request. Click here for a list of our current prices. (If the book costs less than £5.00 to buy then we will decline your request and ask you to buy your own copy.)
  • Articles can be delivered direct to your Durham University email, or you can use the delivery options on the request form to ask for a paper copy.
  • Books will be held at the Bill Bryson Library for collection. You will be emailed when the book arrives. The email will tell you when the book is due for return. The email will also say if the book can be taken home to read, or whether you need to read it within the library. Most books can be borrowed for around 5 weeks, but the length of loans vary.
  • If you need the book for longer than the initial date we have given you, then you can request a renewal of the loan by completing the renewal form below, or emailing . Most renewals are free of charge. Check the bookmark in your book to see if there would be a renewal charge for the item you have borrowed.

Further Advice

If you would like further information about the Document Delivery Service then email us at or give us a telephone call on 0191 334 2946 (or 42946 if you are phoning using an internal phone) and will be happy to answer your questions.


Contact Document Delivery Service

Durham University Library
Stockton Road
United Kingdom

Tel:0191 334 2946

Please Note

Information on this page relates to the 2019-20 academic year