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. Please note that, due to current restrcitions, visitors are not allowed access to any of our libraries.

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?

The Store Service is currently delivering to limited library sites only, please check the Pick-Up Location list for details. Store items are delivered currently every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You will be notified via email if there is any problem with your request. 

Please note:

  • All requests are held for 3 working days only, after which they will be returned to Store.
Where do I collect my order?

Your item will be delivered to your chosen library site on Monday, Wednesday or Friday, provided there are no problems. Please check with your chosen library site for details on how to pick-up your Store item.

UCL Libraries are currently open with limited hours, please check the opening hours before visiting. Due to limited spaces, you may be required to book a study space to view a Reference Only item, please book a study space to avoid disapointment. 

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.

Do we charge for this service?

No, the Stores Service is completely free for all library users. Visitors are currently unable to visit campus. 

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 contact you by email if there is a problem with obtaining your request.

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.

You can also contact us directly if you want to know if there is a problem with the item you have requested. Please email libstore@ucl.ac.uk as currently our office is not staffed full-time to answer phone calls. 

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.