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                    If you're a publisher, you need to give a copy of every UK publication you make to the British Library. Five other major UK libraries may also ask you to give them a copy. This system is called legal deposit and it's been a part of English law since 1662.

                    Print publications for legal deposit can be books, journals, sheet music, maps, plans, charts or tables. Now legal deposit also covers material published digitally such as websites, blogs, e-journals and CD-ROMs.

                    Legal deposit has many benefits for publishers and authors. Your deposited publications can be read inside the British Library and will be preserved for future generations. Your works become part of the nation’s heritage, providing inspiration for new books and other publications.

                    Find out more about legal deposit and how to deposit your print or digital publications. You'll also find information about how your publications are kept secure and accessed.

                    Find out more

                    About legal deposit

                    Find out about how your publications become part of the nation’s heritage

                    Access to your publications

                    The publications are kept secure and made available to read on our premises

                    Security for your electronic publications

                    We save your digital deposits in a resilient and secure environment

                    Legal deposit and web archiving

                    We collect and store around 4 million UK websites every year


                    How to deposit your print publications

                    Advice for publishers about what material to send us and where to send it for legal deposit

                    How to deposit your digital publications

                    Legal deposit advice for publishers of websites, CD-ROMs and other e-publications

                    Get an ISBN or ISSN for your publication

                    These identifiers are used for distributing, describing and selling publications

                    Request access restrictions for your publications

                    Information on our notice and takedown procedure

                    Related subjects and services

                    UK Web Archive

                    Find out about the many websites we preserve and make available for researchers

                    Printed books

                    Our collections include books, pamphlets, periodicals, newspapers, handbills and advertisements

                    Contemporary Britain

                    Collections reflecting contemporary British society and culture

                    Digital preservation

                    We save our digital heritage for future generations

                    On Demand

                    We work with publishers to provide our document supply service and give access to vast stores of digital content

                    Digitisation Services

                    Digitise your archives with us or buy images of unique British Library material

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