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LAMDA: Electronic Document Delivery in London and Manchester

Project web site

Programme area
Electronic Document Delivery

Contact details
Lamda Support Office
Minshull House
47-49 Chorlton Street
Manchester M1 3EU

Tel: 0161 247 6675

Fax 0161 247 6352


Project description

as of 24 October 1997


Users of libraries know only too well that no library is self-sufficient. For staff and students who need more than basic textbooks, access to a wider range of libraries is vital. For some users of libraries this access can be provided by a reader's pass, enabling the user to go to another library. For other users the library has to be brought to them, as it were, in the form of inter-library loans or delivery of specific documents such as journal articles. The United Kingdom has had an efficient national inter-library loan service operated by the British Library, but often users' requests could be satisfied at a local level if the necessary co-operative structures were in place.


The purpose of the London and Manchester document delivery project is to set up the co-operative structure to provide a document delivery service to users of academic libraries in London and in Manchester, with further development of the service to other UK universities. Delivery is by electronic means using Ariel software over the academic network, offering users a fast high-quality docdel service.


Within London the key supplying libraries will be BLPES, King's College, UCL and the University of Westminster and in Manchester all five university libraries - John Rylands, Manchester Business School, Manchester Metropolitan, Salford and UMIST are suppliers. The University of Leeds joined as tenth supply library early in 1997.


A limited service of delivery of Journal articles commenced at the end of October 1995, and work started early in 1996 to attract customers from among other university libraries in the UK. Over 26,000 articles were delivered in the first year of operation, and by the summer of 1997 nearly 30 UK HE libraries had signed up as customers and the annual trend for volume of transactions was 35,000.

Over 70% of articles are delivered within 48 hours. In April 1997 two LAMDA Support Offices were set up, one in UCL and one in MMU, to deal with customers enquiries, offer technical helpdesk service, and handle invoicing.

By July 1998 when project funding ends, LAMDA expects to have over 50 customers and an annual volume of business approaching 50,000 articles.

The service will become self-financing in August 1998 and will expand its market outside of HE and also beyond the UK.

Jean Sykes
Chair, LAMDA
October 1997

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