Interlibrary loans

Interlibrary loans

If the documents or media that you are looking for are available neither at the National Library nor at any other library in the network, you can contact the “Interlibrary loans” service. Here you can get photocopies of journal articles or order books or theses from foreign libraries. Before placing an order for an interlibrary loan, please first check on that the document is not available at the BnL nor at any of the libraries from the national network.

Terms and conditions

Loan duration

The loan period is up to three weeks from reception of the books by the National Library. The loan period cannot be extended and depends on the lending libraries. It is imperative that the loan period is respected, otherwise the right to make interlibrary loans will be removed.

As soon as the document arrives, the user is notified by post or by e-mail, if they have indicated an e-mail address in their account. Books must be collected from the BnL loans desk. Articles are sent by e-mail or by post if, for copyright reasons, the article cannot be transmitted in electronic format.


There is a charge for interlibrary loan orders. Each document ordered is charged at €5 per item, with the exception of works ordered from an overseas library which are charged at €25 per item. An invoice for the documents ordered is sent by e-mail.

The user must pay by bank transfer on receipt of the invoice. Failure to pay the invoice will result in the blocking of the user account and library card. The account will be unblocked once the debt has been paid.

The user is responsible for the works loaned and will pay for any damage caused (deterioration, loss or theft).

Which documents can’t be ordered?

The following documents are excluded from the interlibrary loan:

  • Documents available in one of the libraries of the network;
  • an entire volume of a periodical;
  • recent or inexpensive books;
  • books of practical knowledge (entertainment literature, practical guides, travel guides) and not used for scientific research;
  • the original of rare/precious books or books dating from before 1900 and
  • reference works.

How to proceed?

Start by searching the portal. If the document you are looking for is not there, then you can place an order via the online form. To do this, make sure you have logged in with your reader number, then go to the Interlibrary loan section at the top of the page and fill in the form. Requests are limited to 20 requests per reader per month. It may take from one to several weeks to obtain the documents.

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