Legal deposit

Legal deposit is a statutory requirement for publishers to deposit their publications with the Library.

What is legal deposit?

Legal deposit is legislation that requires publishers to lodge copies of their publications with libraries where they publish. It is in place in most jurisdictions around the world. 

In Australia, legal deposit legislation operates nationally as well as in most states and territories. 

Further information about legal deposit in Australia is available on the National edeposit website.

Why is legal deposit important?

Legal deposit ensures that all published material is catalogued, accessible and archived in perpetuity. By recording the publishing output of New South Wales and the achievements of NSW publishers, these works will be kept for future generations to read.

The legislation behind legal deposit

Legal deposit is a statutory requirement, mandating publishers to deposit their publications with the Library. 

In June 2019, the New South Wales Parliament passed the Library Amendment Act 2019. This legislation extended legal deposit to cover all published formats, including digital formats. The previous legal deposit legislation, the Copyright Act 1879 (NSW), applicable to only print formats, was repealed. 

The Library Act 1939, as amended, now requires that all print and digital publications be deposited to three legal deposit libraries in NSW — the State Library of NSW, the University of Sydney Library and the NSW Parliamentary Library. 

For NSW government publishers, the C2022-02 Deposit of New South Wales Government Publications and the TPG23-10 Annual Reporting Requirements  requires that NSW government publications are deposited with the State Library of NSW, the NSW Parliamentary Library, and the Western Sydney University Library. 

For Australian government publishers, the Commonwealth Library Deposit and Free Issue Schemes (LDS) requires that Australian government publishers deposit their publications at the State Library of NSW and other libraries.