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Physical and Digital Collections

Electronic Legal Deposit: What is available

The Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 entitles the legal deposit libraries to either a print or an electronic copy of a text, but not to both. Following discussions between the legal deposit libraries and the publishers, the decision as to which format will be deposited is taken on a publisher-by-publisher basis rather than for an individual work. In other words, once a publisher begins to deposit electronic texts all of their publications will be received in that format. As yet a relatively small number of publishers have made the transition. The legal deposit libraries will continue to receive printed texts from many publishers for many years.

Currently electronic legal deposit (eLD) extends to books, journals and maps, with other material (e.g. sheet music) added at regular intervals.