Legal deposit has existed in English law since 1662. Every new publication and every new edition of a publication, each of which may contain corrections, amendments or additional content, is liable for deposit.
The British Library is entitled to delivery, free of charge, of one copy of every publication within one month beginning with the day of its publication. The copy deposited must be “of the same quality as the best copies which, at the time of delivery, have been produced for publication in the United Kingdom” [Legal deposit Libraries Act 2003]. The British Library will issue a receipt for every work deposited.
Copies for the British Library should be delivered to:
Legal Deposit Office
The British Library
Tel: +44 (0)1937 546268 (monographs)
+44 (0)1937 546267 (serials)
+44 (0)1937 546409 (newspapers)
The Bodleian Libraries, Cambridge University Library, the National Library of Scotland, the National Library of Wales and the Library of Trinity College Dublin are each entitled to delivery, free of charge, of one copy of every publication that they request.
- The request must be made in writing (whether sent by electronic or other means) no later than 12 months after the day of the work’s publication. The request may be made before publication and may include all future numbers or parts of an encyclopaedia, newspaper, magazine, journal or other work.
- The deposited copy must be delivered within one month of the day of publication or the day on which the request is received, whichever is later.
- The deposited copy “is to be of the same quality as the largest number of copies which, at the time of delivery, have been produced for publication in the United Kingdom” [Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003].
Copies for these deposit libraries must be delivered to a specified address. For many years, they have shared an agent for requesting and taking receipt of deposited works:
Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries
Tel: +44 (0)131 623 4680