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Document delivery service - Help

I. General information


The "Document delivery service" of the German National Library makes black-and-white (hard) copies of journals and books which it then delivers by post or fax within Germany. This service observes the relevant copyright regulations, especially Section 53 of the Copyright Act.

Copies of the following materials are excluded:
microforms, electronic publications on CD-ROM or DVDs, sound recordings, series of slides and transparencies, video materials, maps, sheet music, standards and works still being processed internally by the Library. There is no "Document delivery service" link in the full display of these materials. Colour copies cannot be ordered.
The "Document delivery service" can only be used in cases where the German National Library is the sole documented library in possession of the resource in Germany.

Customers are responsible for checking the ownership documentation:

Publications documented as being owned by other libraries in Germany can be ordered via the separate document delivery service subito.

For legal reasons, only in exceptional cases can orders received from abroad be processed and the resulting copies sent abroad. Such cases are subject to careful scrutiny. Please contact:

Legal aspects

In accordance with Section 53a of the Copyright Act, public libraries are only allowed to deliver documents if the copies are for the customer's own private or other personal use (Section 53 of the Copyright Act).

Short extracts of published works can be copied, as can individual articles published in newspapers and journals.

The customer carries responsibility for ensuring that any delivered copies comply with all relevant copyright requirements.

User groups

Overview of user groups
User groupsDefinition
User group 1Employees of universities and public institutions, libraries
User group 1aPupils, trainees, students
User group 2Private individuals
User group 3Commercial customers

Customers assign themselves to a user group during registration and may be obliged to provide proof of their membership of user group 1 or 1a. For statistical reasons, members of user group 1a should indicate whether they are a "pupil, trainee or student".

Any changes to customer details (e.g. name and address) should be reported to this address:


The charges apply for each separate order/article. However, several pages or chapters from a book, or journal articles from a particular year, can be combined in a single order, provided that the total number of pages does not exceed the limit permitted by copyright law. Upon submitting the order, customers declare their acceptance of the delivery service charges.

The copyright contribution set out in the overall contract with the VG WORD collecting society for the "Document delivery service" is included in the respective charges.

The costs are calculated as follows, based on user group affiliation:

Charges for user group 1
User group 1 EUR
By post (plus postage)7,50
By fax7,50
Charges for user group 1a
User group 1aEUR
By post (plus postage)6,50
By fax6,50
Charges for user group 2
User group 2EUR
By post (plus postage)8,50
By fax8,50
Charges for user group 3
User group 3EUR
By post (plus postage)21,00
By fax21,00

The above charges apply for 1 – 20 pages and include copyright-related fees. Each additional A4 copy costs EUR 0.15.
Urgent or challenging orders can incur additional charges. Please direct any questions you may have to the following address:

Individual or collective invoices can be issued. The invoices are sent by post, separate from the delivery itself. Payments are made by bank transfer. Credit cards are not accepted.

II. Ordering procedure


Customers must register before they can use the "Document delivery service" of the German National Library. The purpose of registration is to prevent abuse and to facilitate the monitoring of copyright and user groups.
In the event of abuse, individual customers may be barred from accessing the system.

There are two registration steps:
Personalised access can be requested by completing the registration form in the "My Account" section of the homepage.

Once personalised access has been set up, the "Document delivery service" (and other services) of the German National Library can be activated.

Click the "Anmeldung für den Service 'Direktversand von Kopien'" link and complete the registration form. Registration is completed and the service activated immediately upon submitting the registration form.

Searches and orders

Searches are conducted using the catalogue of the German National Library (

Once a particular title has been found, the "Document delivery service" link appears. Click the link to open the order form. The bibliographic and customer data are pre-entered in the form. The contact address, taken from the customer's data, constitutes the binding address for the order. It is possible to give different delivery and billing addresses when ordering. Details of the required item need to be added: certain fields are mandatory (marked *).

The German National Library only provides its "Document delivery service" where it is the sole documented library in Germany in possession of the resource in question. In each order, customers therefore have to confirm that they have checked ownership documentation in the Karlsruhe Virtual Catalogue (KVK) in the case of monographs and in the German Union Catalogue of Serials (ZDB) in the case of serial publications (journals, newspapers).

Publications documented as being owned by other libraries in Germany can be ordered via the separate document delivery service subito.

The order is completed and transmitted using the "Zahlungspflichtig bestellen" ("Buy now") button at the bottom of the form. If the order has been correctly placed, "Vielen Dank für Ihre Bestellung. Wir setzen Sie in Kenntnis, sobald Ihre Anfrage bearbeitet wurde." (Thank you for your order. We will advise you once your order has been processed) will appear. Customers are then mailed a confirmation of receipt containing information on the further processing of the order.

Delivery methods and deadlines

The following delivery methods are available: post and fax. Orders are processed within 72 hours (excluding weekends and public holidays).

Notification is sent before expiry of this period if the order is expected to take longer to process due to the complexity of the search or if the items are currently held in alternative stacks.

Complaints must be submitted within 10 days. Complaints and urgent or challenging orders should be addressed to:

Last update: 14.02.2018

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