Advice following British Library cyber incident

British Library gates

The British Library is continuing to experience a major technology outage as a result of a cyber-attack. The outage is still affecting the British Library website, online systems and services, as well as some onsite services. The British Library looking to introduce a phased return of certain key services from January 2024, starting with the main catalogue reference-only version back online from 15 January, but some disruption may continue for longer.

How we’re delivering services at Kent

Document Delivery Service

We’re using an alternative service to the British Library Document Delivery service to provide you with items we do not hold at Kent.

Scan and Deliver pilot

We are trialling a new Scan and Deliver service to improve turnaround times for online book chapters and articles.

Print books

Print books are being sourced from other libraries.

Finding items held at the British Library

Although the British Library catalogue is not available, you can still check for the British Library published material in Library Hub Discover.  This is a database of 204 UK and Irish academic, national and specialist catalogues.

Single Search box of Library Hub Discover with a brief description of its purpose: giving access to detials of materials held in many UK national, academic and specialist libraries. It currently contains 51,612,322 records contributed by 204 institutions.


In Library Hub Discover’s Advanced Search under the Library drop down menu, you can limit your search to a specific library, for example the British Library.

You can also use WorldCat to check items held in British Library collections.

Finding alternative resources

Don’t forget you can use our new LibrarySearch Discovery which now provides access to 50 million + curated Open Access resources.

You can also download the new Lean Library to your browser. Once installed, Lean Library will tell you if there is a digital copy of the material you are looking for and check for Open Access versions. Lean Library integrates with Google Scholar so that your search results link directly to articles.

Use our Lean Library guide to download and install the browser extension.

Looking for BL Special Collections?

You may be able to use other sources to find descriptions of BL Special Collections. It can be a bit tricky but here are some suggestions:

Both The National Archives and The Archives Hub describe collections held in repositories in the UK, including the British Library. You can limit your search to just the British Library and get some description and shelfmarks. In some instances, the description also mentions microfilmed versions which may be accessible in another library.

British Library updates and contacts

Check the British Library blog and their Twitter feed @BLpressoffice for updates on the current status of their services. You can contact the BL via Twitter or emailing (be prepared for delay to responses).

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