Last week a Francis Picabia exhibition catalogue left the Book Library to travel land and sea to get to – literally – the other side of the world. This book’s journey began all because someone at the University of New South Wales in Sydney requested it as an inter-library loan. Handily this works the other way round as well.

The Courtauld Book Library offers current students and staff a free inter-library loan service: it is a way through which you can get your hands on that illusive item that you can’t find here or at any other library in London. Many libraries in the UK and across the world offer a similar service (sometimes known as document supply) through which books, journal articles and theses are passed around between libraries, helping to make sure the information you need will come to you.

Though sometimes a book will be too fragile, too old or too rare to take the trip, in the majority of cases we’ll help you get what you’re looking for. And though it would of course be nice to take a trip to Germany or Italy to consult materials in beautiful and foreign surroundings, this is rarely practical or affordable. So it is comforting to know that in this particular case the mountain will conveniently come to you.

If you want to know more about how this scheme works, check out our inter-library loans web page.

If you’ve already heard enough and have a book in mind that you just cannot find in London, fill out an inter-library loan request form (to be found by the issue desk) and hand it in to one of the library staff.

Boryana Bojkova
Graduate Trainee
ILL Assistant