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Stores service

The UCL Library off-site store is a closed access collection which houses important research material not currently in high demand. Users can request store material for delivery to various libraries.

Store Service resumes

The Store Service has resumed with limited delivery, delivering every Tuesday and Friday and all items will be delivered to the Science Library only. Items will be kept for 3 days from delivery. To request items, please use your library account or fill in the Store Request Form on this website.

The Science Library has limited opening hours, please check our opening hours for details.

Please also make sure you are familiar with the current guidelines when visiting our campus.

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About Stores

The UCL Library off-site store is a closed access collection which houses important research material not currently in high demand. Material is held in the off-site store for reasons of space. This releases space for new acquisitions on the open shelves. Many larger format items such as folios and quartos are also held in a closed access store. Theses are in a special category - they are subject to strict copyright regulations and cannot be held in the Library. The primary library store is located in Wickford, Essex. We do not allow users to visit for safety reasons.

Readers can request store material for delivery, currently to the Science Library only. Material requested is then collected from the Hold Shelf and issued via the Self-Service Machines, if the item is borrowable. 

Stores service

Before sending a request

Please consult Explore for locations prior to submitting a stores request. If you are not sure about a location please ask at an Enquiry Desk.

When requesting an item from stores, it is very important to provide as much information as possible, in order to help the retrieval team to locate the item.

Periodicals

Many periodicals are also available electronically, with the paper copies now located in the store. UCL staff and students are encouraged to use the material in electronic format. Information, instructions and full-text articles can be found via the E-journals web pages.

Periodical material sent to store will be for reference use only. Books will generally be changed to standard loan. However, some larger format material and theses will remain reference only.

Special Collections

Store does not hold rare, fragile or any other material requiring special handling. This material is held by Special Collections. Such material cannot be borrowed and an appointment must be made prior to material being made available for consultation. Please contact them directly.

Locating books and pamphlets

Books and pamphlets are catalogued as individual items. It is important to provide the Library Catalogue Location when ordering items via the Store Request Form. This information will automatically be provided when requesting via Explore using your barcode and PIN.

Location information can be found by looking for the item on Explore. You will need to ensure that any item records found correspond to that which you are looking for. The record will tell you if an item is in store - if it is not, then you will be able to find it on the open shelf of one of the UCL libraries. If the item record begins with 'Stores' you can place a request for the item from the Stores Service.

Not all books held in store will have a classmark that begins with STORE. If an item has a location 'Stores' in the site column of the holdings record then it can be requested from stores.

Items that have locations other than stores will be on the open shelves. If you cannot find the item on the open shelf please do NOT request this from stores. Report the item to the Library Issue Desk/Help Point.

If you cannot find the item on the catalogue, it is most likely not held by UCL and you should consider trying to obtain your item through Inter-Library Loans.

If you have any problems whilst searching for an item you want, please contact an Enquiry Desk directly or e-mail library@ucl.ac.uk, telephone 020 7679 7789.

Locating periodicals

Periodicals generally have Explore records that cover a run of volumes rather than individual issues, unlike books which will have an individual entry for each copy. Most periodicals will have more than one catalogue entry, relating to different parts of the run. Individual catalogue entries for all periodical issues start from January 2000. These will appear on the holdings list along with the run information. If the volume and issue you require does not appear on the individual item record please check holdings information at the top of the window. In order to retrieve the correct item it is desirable to include the full periodical title (please do not use abbreviations if it is possible to avoid them), year and volume number. It is common for sources to misquote reference information. If article details are included we will endeavour to locate the required material if at all possible.

Periodical holdings information can be found by looking on Explore under 'UCL Journals'.

You will need to ensure that any item records found correspond to that which you are looking for, as there are many periodicals with similar titles or the same title but different publishers. To bring up the holdings information you will need to click on the 'Stores' link.

Items that have locations other than stores will be on the open shelves. If you cannot find the item on the open shelf please do NOT request this from stores. Report the item to the Library Issue Desk/Help Point.

If you cannot find the item on the catalogue, it is most likely not held by UCL and you should consider trying to obtain your item through Inter-Library Loans.

If you have any problems whilst searching for an item you want, please contact an Enquiry Desk directly or e-mail library@ucl.ac.uk, telephone 020 7679 7789.

Requesting Store material

Due to library closures, the Store Service is currently delivering to the Science Library only. Deliveries are limited to every Tuesday and Friday. You will be notified upon your items arrival which will be kept for 3 days before being sent back to Stores. Visitors are not currently able to visit our libraries so please only request items if you are a UCL student or member of staff.

There are two ways to request Store material; we encourage UCL students to request items through their library account in Explore.

  1. By completing the Store Request Form on Explore (you need to be logged in) or on the library web-pages store request form.
  2. Online from the item record in Explore, for books and theses.

Please fill in as much detail as possible and do include your full name, library barcode and contact details.

We require the following information to process requests:

  • For a periodical: the full journal title and volume/part nos., page nos. and date, plus the location
  • For a book: the author's name, the title, the date of the work, and the classmark 
  • For a thesis: the author's name, the date of the work and the title.

If you are unsure of any of these please ask at any UCL Library Enquiry desk, Issue desk, or contact us.

Please note:

  • All requests are held for 3 days only, after which they will be returned to Store.

We always look for items at least three times. If it still can't be found we will then try to contact the reader to find out where they found the reference or if they have seen the item before. We keep a note of items not found and if we have readers' details we will contact them if the item is found at a later date.