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Legal deposit has existed in English law since 1662. It helps to ensure that the nation’s published output (and thereby its intellectual record and future published heritage) is collected systematically, to preserve the material for the use of future generations and to make it available for readers within the designated legal deposit libraries.

The British Library and other Legal Deposit Libraries are committed to ensuring that UK-published material that is collected or deposited under legal deposit legislation is preserved and made available for researchers to use in the Libraries’ premises. However, the Libraries are also committed to ensuring that material is archived and displayed lawfully, and in accordance with policies agreed with stakeholder representatives.

The Legal Deposit Libraries operate a Notice and Takedown policy for specific circumstances in which public access should be withdrawn or deposited material should be removed. Valid reasons for withdrawing or removing material include, but are not limited to:

  • Agreements for embargoing access
  • Court injunctions
  • Legal requirements
  • Proven violations of copyright or database right, not covered by legal deposit legislation or a limitation or exception in UK copyright law
  • Material that has been found to be libellous or defamatory
  • Breaches of confidentiality

If you have found legal deposit material that you believe should not be available to users, please notify us by complaining in writing, marked ‘URGENT’. Your complaint can either be sent electronically to or by letter to Enquiries Service, The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 3BU, and should include the following information:

  • Your contact details.
  • Sufficient information, including exact catalogue reference and full URL, for us to identify the relevant item(s).
  • The nature of your complaint, and reason for notifying us.
  • If your complaint concerns intellectual property rights, confirmation that you are the rights holder, or an authorised representative of the rights holder.
  • If your complaint concerns libel, defamation, confidentiality or personal data, confirmation that you are either the publisher or the subject of the material in question, or their authorised representative.

On receipt of a complaint:

  • We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint by email or letter.
  • We will make an initial assessment of the complaint on its merits and, pending our inquiries, may remove or disable access to the relevant material.