UCL Library Services


Stores - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions relating to our Stores Service. If you are unable to find the answer you need contact us and we will be happy to help.

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 using the subject locations guide 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/Help Point 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.

How do I order an item?

The main way to order any items from Store (books, journals, theses) is to order them online via our store request 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/Help Point.

The final way you can order an item is to send us an email directly, 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.

When will my order arrive?

Requests made before 7.30am will be available the same afternoon; requests submitted after that time will be ready for consultation the next working day at approximately*:

UCL Science Library (Assistance Desk)Bloomsbury Campus, Malet Placeafter 3:00pm
UCL Cruciform HubBloomsbury Campus, Gower Streetafter 3:30pm
UCL Institute of Archaeology LibraryBloomsbury Campus, Gordon Squareafter 3:30pm
UCL Language & Speech Science LibraryWakefield Stafter 3:30pm
UCL School of Slavonic and East European StudiesBloomsbury Campus, Taviton Streetafter 3:30pm
UCL School of Pharmacy LibraryBrunswick Squareafter 3:30pm
UCL Ear Institute & Action on Hearing Loss LibrariesGray's Inn Roadafter 4:00pm
UCL Eastman Dental LibraryGray's Inn Roadafter 4:00pm
UCL Institute of Child Health LibraryGuildford Streetafter 4:00pm
UCL Institute of Education Library20 Bedford Wayafter 3:30pm
Joint Library of Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital & UCL Institute of OphthalmologyBath Streetafter 4:00pm
UCL Institute of Orthopaedics LibraryStanmoreafter 4:00pm
UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, Queen Square Library23 Queen Squareafter 4:00pm
Royal Free Hospital Medical Library, UCL Library Services (Issue Desk)Belsize Parkafter 4:30pm

There are no deliveries at the weekend. Any requests made on a Friday, or at the weekend, will be ready for collection on the following Monday.

* Terms of delivery are subject to change.

Please note:

  • Material from the Store should be returned to the library it was collected from.
  • All requests are held for one week only, after which they will be returned to Store.
  • We do not notify readers when material arrives unless it is a book requested via Explore. It is your responsibility to check on the progress of your request and to collect the material in time.
Where do I collect my order?

The item you request can be collected the next working day from the Issue Desk/Collection Point at your requested pick-up site. (see question "When will my order arrive?", above, for times)

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/Help Point 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.

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 our joining the library information.

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.

Can I photocopy items requested?

Full details of how to photocopy and the costs of using the print @ UCL service are available.

Note: 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.

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).

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. 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. They are always happy to help.

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 Explore 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.

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.

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.

Please note there is a limit to how many books that you can have issued to you at any one time according to 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.