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A guide for registered readers

Regulations introduced in April 2013 give the National Library of Wales and the other UK legal deposit libraries the legal right to collect, store and preserve the nation's memory in the digital age. The content includes online articles, books, and websites.

What is available?

After April 2013, a large amount of electronic content became available, including journal articles, websites in the UK domain web archive, and articles / chapters from e-books and e-journals.
This kind of material is not available immediately as collection and processing takes some time. NLW will ensure that access is gained to non-print legal deposit material as soon as is possible. It will usually take at least nine months to collect and collate all UK domain websites.
The legislation covers social media content, such as Twitter and Facebook, meaning that legal deposit libraries are able to collect them.
This does not include:

  • Private messages in Twitter and Facebook
  • The content of pure video streaming sites, such as YouTube
  • Recorded sound and film/video

Who can access this material?

Who: Non-print legal deposit material can only be accessed and viewed by registered users within the reading rooms of the UK & Ireland legal deposit libraries. This facility is now extended to all on certain terminals within the NLW reading room in Cardiff. Access from home or by laptop is not possible.

Where: On dedicated terminals within the NLW reading room located within Cardiff University Library. You cannot access this material from home or via your own laptop on Cardiff University Library premises or anywhere else at Cardiff University.

How: Use the search facility on the dedicated terminals in the NLW reading room. There is a dedicated interface available for access to Legal Deposit UK Web Archive.

Only one person at a time can view a certain item, and there is no time limit set (within a day) for how long you can consult an item. There is no queuing process for access.

How many articles can I access in a day?

There is no limit to the number of non-print legal deposit items that can be accessed in a day.

How can I access the harvested websites?

Harvesting and processing the whole UK domain can take many months. As with other e-legal deposit material, this content is only accessible from legal deposit libraries' reading rooms via a secure web archive portal, and again this facility is extended to all users at NLW’s Cardiff reading room.

Can I print out material that I have viewed?

Yes, printing of material is allowed. Enquiry staff can advise you on printing limits.
Anyone viewing an item needs to accept the terms and conditions governing use of the material, which includes copyright regulations in relation to printing.
Printing will be monitored to ensure there are no contraventions of the copyright regulations.

Can I save the material to a memory stick?

No, the regulations do not allow downloading of any kind.

Can I take a photograph of the item on the screen?

No, the regulations do not allow the use of cameras, of any kind, to make copies of non-print legal deposit.

If I need further help, who should I contact?

You can get more information by contacting: