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Electronic Legal Deposit: electronic Legal Deposit currently unavailable

for readers and reading room staff

Latest service announcement

Whilst the British Library is dealing with a major system outage electronic Legal Deposit records are only discoverable in the 'Search Everything' option.

Please see the Knowledge Matters blog for updates from the British Library following the cyber-attack in October 2023.

On 15th January 2024 the British Library made available a ‘read-only’ copy of the main catalogue of over 36 million records, including details of their printed books, journals, maps, music scores and rare books: British Library Interim Catalogue ( The British Library stipulate that, although you will be able to search for items as before, the process for checking availability and ordering them for use in the Reading Rooms will be different – further details are available here: Research resources currently available | The British Library

Our electronic Legal Deposit collection is a shared endeavour with the other UK Legal Deposit Libraries. Our access to this content is via the British Library and is currently not available. The British Library state that they anticipate restoring more services in the next few weeks, but disruption to certain services is now expected to persist for several months.

Access to other BL services including the UK Web Archive and inter-library requests are also impacted.


Helpful resources

  • A ‘read-only’ version of the British Library catalogue is now available – it gives a snap-shot as of April 2023. 

    It is possible to access the majority of books and special collections held at the St Pancras site, with limited collection items available at Boston Spa. You’ll need to go on-site to order collection items, to confirm availability before you visit you can email

    The BL can only issue temporary reader tickets at the moment. If you already have a card and it needs renewing, this will probably be slightly easier than those who need to register for the first time. Contact if you need help but be prepared for a delayed response as our colleagues will be terrifically busy with enquiries.

Finding alternative copies

  • Check SOLO for alternative copies
  • Check Library Hub Discover for content outside Oxford. Library Hub Discover is a union catalogue of  of 204 UK and Irish academic, national & specialist library catalogues across the UK 
  •  Recommend a purchase by filling in an online form. Your request will be passed on to the relevant subject librarian for consideration, and you will be notified of the outcome. SSO password required to access the form.
  • Inter-library requests: Our inter-library requests service (also known as inter-library loans) can attempt to obtain both loans of items and scans from other libraries in the UK and worldwide, when the material required is not held in an Oxford library. This service is available to all University and Bodleian Reader card holders although please note that charges apply for Reader card holder requests. Note that in most cases, print items from the British Library are not currently available, so there may be delays in sourcing ILL items that can only be obtained from libraries outside of the UK at this time.

Live Chat

Live Chat is available: 

  • 9 am to 7pm Monday to Friday term time. 
  • 9 am to 5pm Monday to Friday in vacation.
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