Legal Deposit Libraries Act

Royal Assent has been given to the Private Member's Bill aimed at ensuring that electronic and other non-print materials can be preserved as part of the United Kingdom's published archive.

The new Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 allows the six legal deposit libraries in the UK - including the National Library of Scotland - to set up an arrangement for collecting and storing publications like electronic journals, CD-ROMs, DVDs and websites. Previous legal deposit legislation, passed in 1911, did not cover non-print formats, and such material was collected under a voluntary arrangement with publishers - or was lost altogether. From this point, the libraries' and publishers' representatives will work together to formulate a way of implementing the Act that is both efficient and effective.

National Librarian Martyn Wade is delighted at the historic change in the legislation. 'This now secures for future generations this ever-increasing element of non-print published information,' he said. The Library's Director of Collection Development, Cate Newton, stressed that the Library will be making every effort to collect 'e-material' relevant to the recorded knowledge and heritage of Scotland. For fuller information, and background to the Act, see our press release.

6 November 2003

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