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Physical & Digital Collections

Electronic Legal Deposit: Electronic Legal Deposit

Texts to which Cambridge libraries have access through electronic legal deposit (eLD), also known as non-print legal deposit (NPLD), can be identified in iDiscover by the appearance of the phrase “Available on designated PCs in the UL and most Faculty and Departmental libraries”.

Some publishers are now depositing their journals electronically.  Where a journal was previously deposited in print, a note in the iDiscover journal record indicates this and gives the date when the change happened. E.g.: “For issues published from January 2014 see also Electronic Legal Deposit (Only available on designated PCs in the main University Library and Affiliated Libraries).”

Under the terms of the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 and the Legal Deposit (Non-Print Works) Regulations 2013 access to eLD material may only be provided to readers at a workstation “on library premises controlled by the deposit library”. In the University Library there are currently five such designated PCs in the main Reading Room, one in the Commonwealth Room, and one each in most of the affiliated libraries.

The legislation imposes a number of other restrictions:

  • Only one concurrent user of a text throughout the University Library and its affiliated libraries is allowed.
  • No digital copying is permitted (i.e. no downloading, emailing, copying and pasting or screenshots). 
  • No photographs may be taken of the PC screen.
  • Printing, however, is permitted within normal copyright limits (i.e. one chapter or 5%, whichever is greater, of a book and one article from each issue of a journal).





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