A short guide to electronic legal deposit

From April 2013, the UK's legal deposit libraries have the legal right to collect electronic publications and to harvest content from the worldwide web.

Regulations for electronic legal deposit, in force from 6 April, ensure that the UK's digital published output can be captured, preserved and made available for study.

They bring electronic publications into line with printed material, which legal deposit libraries have been entitled to collect for more than 300 years.

The non-print regulations 2013 cover:

  • Websites
  • E-journals
  • E-books
  • Digital newspapers
  • Digital maps.

Making collected electronic material available

The regulations apply to six legal deposit libraries in the UK and Ireland, including the National Library of Scotland.

They have been working closely to design and deliver the systems needed to collect electronic publications and web material and make it available to the public.

The first electronic legal deposit material was available the day the regulations came into effect. This is very limited in scope, as it will take some time to build up the collection of electronic publications and web content.


How the non-print system will work

Find out how the non-print regulations affect you if you are:

Find out more in our introduction page:

Note for publishers: There is no change to the arrangements in place to collect legal deposit copies of printed publications. For more information see our Guide for publishers.


Legal deposit main page

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