Legal Deposit has been part of English law since 1662. It means that publishers, including self-published authors, need to provide a copy of every work they publish in the UK to the British Library and fo
This legal deposit makes sure that all of the books published in the UK are collected systematically, preserved for use of future generations and are available for readers within legal deposit libraries.
Since 2013 the legal deposit regulations have expanded to include digital as well as print publications.
Why do we need legal deposit?
Legal deposit ensures the nation’s published output is:
- collected systematically
- preserved for the use of future generations
- available for readers within legal deposit libraries.
The legal deposit libraries
There are six UK legal deposit libraries:
- British Library
- National Library of Scotland
- National Library of Wales
- Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford
- Cambridge University Library
- Library, Trinity College Dublin
The legal deposit libraries work together to ensure the long term preservation of UK publications, both in print and digital form. They ensure that publications are held securely and that they can be discovered and accessed by readers.