By law, a copy of every UK print publication must be given to the British Library by its publishers, and to five other major libraries that request it. This system is called legal deposit and has been a part of English law since 1662.
From 6 April 2013, legal deposit also covers material published electronically, so that the Legal Deposit Libraries can maintain a national collection of e-journals, e-books, digitally published news, magazines and other types of content.
Nothing yet. If you already deposit printed publications, please continue to do so until the British Library or another legal deposit library contacts you.
We might not be ready to process your content yet because of technical constraints or because of our own financial and operational resourcing considerations, but we will try to accommodate your request if at all possible. Please either:
+44 (0)1937 546060 (Customer Services) Customer-Services@bl.uk
No. Content collected through digital legal deposit will only be accessible within the premises of the legal deposit libraries, and digital copying including ‘copy and paste’ is not possible. See: Users’ access to deposited electronic publications
Am I obliged to deposit electronic publications that were published before the 2013 Regulations?
No, the Regulations only apply to websites and electronic publications being made available after 6th April 2013, and some Regulations only apply to start-up businesses and micro-businesses after 31st March 2014. However the British Library and Legal Deposit Libraries would encourage publishers to consider depositing their ‘back catalogue’ of electronic publications where possible, in order to ensure that they are archived for posterity within the national collection.
The 2013 Regulations define how relevant material must be “connected to the UK”. The Joint Committee on Legal Deposit has agreed how the Legal Deposit Libraries will interpret and implement these Regulations. See: Identifying UK websites and electronic publications
Legal deposit excludes cinema films and recorded music publications, although the Regulations do cover music, sound and video contained within other publications. For further detail, see: Recorded Sound and Film