Acquiring Library resources (researchers)

The Library acquires over 38,000 new items each year and these are ordered, catalogued and processed by the Collection Management division of the Library. We aim to deliver newly purchased material to the shelves using the most cost-effective and efficient means. The following questions are intended to give responses to general queries but if you have any specific questions please contact us at

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I am a member of academic staff - how do I submit a request for material to be purchased?

For books, e-books and any other non-subscribed material please select ‘Library purchase request’ on My Manchester to submit your request

Unfortunately the purchase request form on the portal does not currently support requests for material in non-Roman script: to request the purchase of non-Roman script material please contact (Middle Eastern Studies) or (East Asian Studies).

If you wish to recommend that the Library take out a subscription to a new printed journal or electronic journal or database, please submit a request to your Academic Engagement Librarian who will be in touch to discuss your particular needs in detail.

The acquisition of a new title represents a continuing commitment for the Library and your request will have to be assessed in the light of the Library's financial position and the current overall demand for new titles in addition to the journal's importance for teaching and research.

I am a member of academic staff - how do I submit a request for reading list material to be purchased?

If your request is a bulk order involving more than 10 different titles from a reading list, please contact Teaching and Learning instead of using this form.

Otherwise, for books, e-books and any other non-subscribed material please select 'Library purchase request' on My Manchester to submit your request. 

How long does it take for a new book to arrive?

  • This varies considerably depending on the type of material and the speed of supply from publishers and other suppliers. The majority of text-books, if in print and readily available, take 20 days from the point of ordering to receipt by the Library. An average book will then take a further 5 days to be receipted, catalogued, processed and delivered to the library site.
  • If a book is urgently required for a course then it is possible for books to be fast-tracked through these procedures (although this will involve paying a premium fee to our suppliers).
  • Some books, especially those in languages other than English ordered from abroad, can take significantly longer.

How do I ask for material to be treated as a priority?

On the ‘New purchase’ request form described above, there is a tick box for priority requests.

How can I ask to be the first to use a book?

All books which have been ordered display on the Library catalogue and can be reserved using the online request forms which appear on each ordered item.

Members of academic staff can also use the relevant tick box on the ‘New purchase’ request form on the My Manchester portal, should they wish to be the first to use an item that they are requesting. 

How long does it take for a new electronic resource to be available?

  • Individual e-books: the majority of these are ordered and made available within 48 hours
  • Other electronic resources including journals and large packages of e-books: these are ordered within 7 days and made available as soon as the publisher is able to activate the service.

How long does it take for a new printed journal to be available?

Once funding has been agreed all orders are processed within 7 days. Journal parts are normally catalogued and processed within four days of being received.

I would like to recommend items for Special Collections

Please contact the Special Collections staff at

How do I get a chapter of a book (or a journal article) digitised so that I can incorporate it into my Blackboard module?

Online request forms can be found on My Manchester.

All requests are checked for copyright compliance. You will receive a URL link to the PDF, which you can insert into your reading list section of your VLE modules.

The book or article that I need is not held in the Library. What can I do?

  • You should contact the Document Supply & Inter-Library Loans service and make a request for the item to be obtained from another Library
  • DS&ILL team aim to process the requests immediately, although during very busy periods there may be a delay of a day or two. Books are generally supplied within 7 to 10 days of the item being requested and journal articles usually arrive within 5 days, often sooner.
  • As the service is dependant on the co-operation of the supplier and the availability of the item, delays may occur in some cases.

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