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Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries


The Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries operates on behalf of five of the UK's designated deposit libraries:

The agency has moved from 161 Causewayside, Edinburgh.

Our new address is:

Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries
Unit 21 Marnin Way
EH12 9GD


What you need to know about the agency

The Bodleian Library, 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.


Complementary arrangement

The British Library's Legal Deposit Office, operating from Boston Spa, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS23 7BY, has responsibility for receiving legal deposit material for the British Library.


Preserving publications for the nation

Legal deposit is the statutory obligation to deposit at least one copy of every UK publication, free of charge, at the British Library and other designated deposit libraries.

This obligation has existed in English law for printed books and papers since 1662 and for electronic and other non-print publications since 6th April 2013. It helps to ensure that the nation's published output, and thereby its intellectual record and future published heritage, is collected systematically, both in order to preserve the material for the use of future generations and to make it available for readers within the designated deposit libraries.


Benefits for publishers

The legal deposit system also has benefits for authors and publishers:


Understanding the legal requirement placed on publishers

Printed publications

The default format in which publications should be deposited is print. The agency operates as a single point from which legal deposit requests and receipts are made. The agency has a responsibility to record the deposit of publications and to securely distribute that material to the five legal deposit libraries we represent.

The new agency has changed the way the operation works in terms of requesting and distributing material to legal deposit libraries. However, it does not change the legal deposit requirements that publishers in the UK and Ireland must meet.

Electronic (non-print) publications

On 6 April 2013, new regulations were introduced by the UK Parliament to permit each legal deposit library to claim and receive publications in an electronic format. However, this must be by agreement and the default format remains print until such time as an agreement is reached.

The Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries will NOT be a point of claim or receipt of electronic publications. For all enquiries or requests to deposit, email Customer Services at the British Library:

The Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 and Legal Deposit Libraries (Non-Print Works) Regulations 2013 apply to non-print works that are published in the UK:

However they do not apply to:

More about legal deposit and electronic publications


See also:

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Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries is a registered Scottish charity: Scottish charity number: SC040300
Company Registration Number: SC348650