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Frequently Asked Questions

What is in Store?


Generally most Science and Medical Sciences Periodicals published before 1991, and any periodicals that are available electronically.

There are also various periodicals from other libraries and societies that are connected with UCL, for example periodicals for subjects held in the Main Library and Folklore Society Journals. These do not generally follow any strict pattern so please consult the catalogue to find out which years are in Store.


There is an ever-increasing collection of books in Store. These can be discerned by the fact they will start with a number, such as 98-01737 or 396 PAL, or with the word STORE; they may also have two classmark locations e.g. STORE 02-0811 and PHILOSOPHY D 10 BUR.
There are also named collections in Store, such as the Chattaway collection, which will have the name of the collection in their classmark e.g. CHATTAWAY E 23 EDN.
You can check which collections are in Store by going to this web page: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/database/subloc.shtml, or by asking any Enquiry Desk staff.


We keep a copy of all UCL Ph.D. Theses in Store, from 1910 to the present. There are also copies of these held at Senate House which you are able to consult the same day.
In addition to the Ph.D.'s, we also hold a selection of Masters Theses for certain subjects e.g. Environmental Studies, Conservation Studies, and Museum Studies.
All other UCL theses can be requested for consultation at the Royal Free, Orthopaedics, Ophthalmology or Science Libraries only. They will be kept at the selected pick-up site for two weeks only. However there are certain restrictions as to when you can consult this material due to copyright law. We have to keep the theses under restricted access. This means they cannot be borrowed and are only available for consultation during Issue Desk opening hours (see Opening Hours for details).

Also Clinical Psychology dissertations usually come in two volumes, one of which contains confidential medical material. If you need to consult this as well as the main dissertation then you need to obtain a letter from the director of the sub-department of Clinical Health Psychology, at the time of writing this is Prof. P. Fonagy.

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How do I order an item?

The main way to order any items from Store (books, journals, theses) is to order them online: Web store form.

You can also order books by requesting them on the catalogue as you would usually do for a UCL book. For this you need to be a borrowing member of UCL and know your barcode number (on the back of your I.D. card) and your P.I.N. number. This is set automatically and is usually the first four digits in your date of birth, so if you were born on the 18/04/1974 your PIN would be 1804. If you do not know your P.I.N. just ask at any Library Issue Desk.

The final way you can order an item is to send us an email directly to libstore@ucl.ac.uk, stating the Title, Author, Year, Volume and Location of the item you request; as well as your full name and barcode number. We are quite happy for you to order items this way but please be wary if you have a large number of requests as this can become confusing, and it is better and quicker to use the dedicated web form.

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When will it arrive?

The items you have requested will be ready for you to consult, and/or pick up from the requested pick-up site the next working day at approximately:

  • 3 p.m.       - Science Library
  • 3.30 p.m.  - Cruciform Library
  • 3.30 p.m.  - Language & Speech Science Library
  • 3.30 p.m.  - School of Slavonic and East European Studies Library
  • 3.30 p.m.  - School of Pharmacy Library
  • 4.00 p.m.  - Ear Institute and RNID Libraries
  • 4.00 p.m.  - Eastman Dental Institute Library
  • 4.00 p.m.  - Institute of Child Health Library
  • 4.00 p.m.  - Institute of Ophthalmology
  • 4.00 p.m.  - Institute of Orthopaedics Library
  • 4.30 p.m.  - Royal Free Medical Library

(N.B. if you make a request early in the morning, before 7.30am, it will arrive the same working day)

Any requests made on a Friday, or at the weekend, will be ready for collection on the Monday afternoon.

We will not email you to confirm that your item has arrived as we deal with too many requests to make this feasible. You may, however, receive an email if you have requested a book via eUCLid as this is sent automatically.

N.B. If you have requested a book or thesis via your barcode and P.I.N. number it will automatically default to the Science library for collection.

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Where do I collect what I have ordered?

The item you request can be collected the next working day from the Issue Desk at your requested pick-up site: Science library after 3pm; Cruciform, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, Language and Speech Science and School of Pharmacy libraries all after 3.30pm; Ear Institute and RNID, Eastman Dental Institute, Institute of Child Health, Institute of Ophthalmology and Orthopaedics libraries all after 4pm; Royal Free Medical Library after 4.30pm.

Please check the opening hours at these sites before making a special journey to collect your item.

Please note that if you have requested a Thesis, then this is only available to consult within the library during Issue Desk opening hours.

Also if you are a member of UCL and have requested a book or a thesis via your account (with your barcode and P.I.N. number) then this request automatically defaults to the Science library for collection at the moment.

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Do we charge for this service?

No, the Stores Service is completely free for all library users and visitors.

The only costs that could be incurred are if you need to pay to gain entrance to the library, or if you need to use the photocopiers in the library.

If you are a visitor and are not sure if you will have to pay to use the library, please consult the information at this link: - http://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/joining.shtml.

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Can I order items from other UCL Library sites through the Stores Service?

No, only items held at our warehouse in Wickford can be ordered through this service. If an item on the catalogue says it is located in one of our other sites, users must go there to collect the item or, if it is not a local site, request the item as an Inter-site loan. There may be a fee for this service. See the Inter-Lending and Document Supply web pages for more details.

If the item has the location Spec. Coll. or is published before 1850, it is likely that they are rare or will require special handling. These items are held at the Special Collections. Such material cannot be borrowed and must only be consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room. Please contact them directly on 020 7679 7827 or email spec.coll@ucl.ac.uk to arrange an appointment.

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Can I photocopy items requested?

There are photocopiers situated on the ground floor of the Science Library, which you can use to photocopy the item requested.
Photocopy cards cost 1 and need to be charged with credit before they are used. A black and white, A4 copy costs 5p per copy.

UCL students, staff and visitors are expected to purchase their own photocopy cards. Although in the case of periodicals, UCL staff may take them out to photocopy in their own department.

If you are photocopying a part of a Thesis then you need to adhere to the copyright law, e.g. you can only copy 5% of the Thesis or one chapter, which ever is the greater.

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Will I be contacted if there is a problem?

We will generally contact you within 24 hours by email if there is a problem with obtaining your request.
Occasionally, if we have several problems, we may take a little longer to process your request but will endeavour to reply within 48 hours.

Some problems cannot be resolved immediately and will need to be looked into extensively. If this is the case we will let you know, again by email.

The only exception is when items requested are not in Stores but on the 'Open Shelf'. This is because we receive a high percentage of this type of problem every day and replying to all of these by email would considerably slow down the service.

You can also contact us directly if you want to know if there is a problem with the item you have requested. The telephone number is 0207 679 7971 (internally the number is 37971).

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Why do I sometimes get a printed copy instead of the whole volume?

The Stores Service has for some time been running a small experimental Ariel service for UCL students and staff only.
The Ariel service works by someone in the Wickford Store scanning the required article and sending it electronically to another Ariel system at UCL where it is printed off.
It is hoped that for individual journal articles this could, and should, be the way forward. However, if a user has requested a whole volume, the journal volume is too tightly bound, has pictures or graphs, the article is over 50 pages in length, or there is more than one article requested from the same journal volume, then the whole journal volume will be sent.

Unfortunately we receive so many requests for individual articles that we can only produce a few Ariel's a day. We hope to increase this in the near future.

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What if I cannot find an item on the 'Open Shelf'; can I request it from Store?

If an item is not on the 'Open Shelf', it does not necessarily follow that it will be in Store. We may not take it!
If you are not sure if we take the particular item you want please follow these guidelines:

  1. Check Explore searching by author, title etc.
    If the item is on the catalogue please check which sub-library it is located in e.g. Science, Main, Cruciform, Royal Free Medical, Special Collections etc., and collect it from there.
  2. If the item is a journal is it available electronically? You can check if it is available electronically by looking at the E-Journals pages. If it is, and you are a UCL student or member of staff, please consult it via the Athens login. If you are a visitor you can request the paper copy from the Store.
  3. If after searching the catalogue you still cannot find the item you want then it is not going to be in Store because the catalogue should have a record of all available titles.
    Then you can either make an Inter-Library Loan request if you are a UCL student or member of Staff, or you can check to see if it is in another library. To do this go to, http://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/, and click on 'Other Libraries'. A good place to start if you are searching for a journal is the 'Union List of Serials', and for books is the Senate House catalogue as it is near by.
    If you have any problems searching for a particular reference, journal or book, please contact any Enquiry Desk, or e-mail your enquiry by going to this website, http://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/enquiry.shtml. They are always happy to help.

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If all copies of the book I require are on loan can I request it from Stores?

No, just because all open shelf copies are out on loan does not necessarily mean there will be a spare copy in Stores! Check the catalogue for holdings and if there are no holdings in Stores request one of the loaned copies on eUCLid by signing in with your library barcode and PIN numbers.

Can I visit the Store?

Unfortunately at the moment it is not possible for Library Users to visit the Store.
The Store is actually based in Wickford, Essex and is not easy to get to. It is also not equipped to accommodate visitors.

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Can I collect an item held for someone else?

Generally we would prefer it if you did not collect an item on someone else's behalf, but we understand that sometimes it is unavoidable. If this is the case you need to bring along the requesters UCL library ID, and a letter of authorisation stating that they require you to consult/collect this item for them. This letter has to be signed by the person who originally requested the Stores item.

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Is there a limit to how many items I can order?

There is no limit to the number items you can order from Store. However, you are only allowed to make three requests using your barcode number and P.I.N. If you need to make multiple Store Requests please use the Store Request Form.
However there is a limit to how many books that you can have issued to you at any one time according UCL library policy. In the case of journals there is also a purely physical limit as to how many you can actually use at once in the library.

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Last modified 28 May 2012

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